As Boko Haram continues to ravage northern Cameroon, the country is being urged by one of its political leaders to turn to witchraft to combat terrorism.
Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of the far northern region of the country is reported to have said that witchcraft will be an effective weapon against Islamic terrorism devastating the region.
“We expect every village to have brilliant actions in this direction,” he said. “We want to hear that this or that village has wiped out or limited the sect’s damage through witchcraft. Fight for your country.”
President Paul Biya, Cameroonian President had earlier charged Cameroonians to use witchcraft against Boko Haram, contradicting the law that had made witchcraft and black magic illegal in Cameroun with penalties of 10 years in prison.
In Mora, a remote mountainous district in the Far Northern region near Nigeria, the people are desperate to try anything against Boko Haram. The report by Public Radio International (PRI) says hundreds of militia fighters patronise “marabouts,” a popular name for witchdoctors or Juju priests in Cameroon, for charms and talismans for protection in the battle with the insurgents. “Since I have this gris-gris, I have no problem,” said Mohamad Ahmed, a gym teacher and member of a local militia in Mora, with a small cloth bag typically worn around his wrist.
The talisman they carry are usually “magic” objects and paper inscribed with verses from the Koran, or any other holy scriptures. Gris-gris, though an African charm, is more commonly identified with voodoo practices in the Caribbean.
“It is so powerful,” said Ahmed. “I put it on at the moment I go into the field of fighting. The fetish protects its wearer. If someone shoots at you, the bullets have no effect. They fall on the ground like small pebbles.” Ahmed however confessed that he has not been shot at to test the charm.
Observers have noted the failure of the Army to stem the rampage of the Islamic terrorist group destroying the lives and existence of the communities in northern Cameroon which has resulted in this frustration.
A community Church Pastor, Alfred Ndechech in Kerewa, a community bordering Nigeria, said to Global Christian News, “We have continued to preach to people and ask them to look up to God and depend on Jesus, but people want results instantly… they want powers that they think will do magic now, forgetting that there is no other power apart from Christ.”
Baba Boukar, a marabout, claimed that “Some members of the vigilance committees now have the ability to mystically eat the hearts of enemies or make them slaves by pronouncing incantations,” said Boukar.