A 30-year-old man, Ibrahim Mai Riga (alias Kawulala) who trekked from Jalingo, Taraba State, arrived Maiduguri Monday after an 11-day journey to thank the military for liberating his community. He got a traditional title, a 406 Peugeot car and N250,000 for his effort.
Kawulala escaped death shortly before Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, declared Gwoza the headquarters of his Islamic caliphate. He had been in Taraba for several months but decided to embark on the “Thank you trek” to Maiduguri, a distance of over 800 kilometers that lasted 11 days.
Kawulala was received Monday in Maiduguri by the GOC 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Lamidi Adeosun, in company of other officers and soldiers. He told journalists that he embarked on the trek to thank the Nigerian Army for reclaiming most of the territories once occupied by the Boko Haram.
General Lamidi said he personally received Kawulala in order to identify with his feat. The emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Mustapha Muhammadu Idrissa Timta, also bestowed the title of ‘Sarkin Tafiya’ (Master Trekker) on Kawulala.
“We are proud of you because your trek is symbolic and opens the way for our people that fled to various locations within Nigeria and neighbouring countries to return,” the emir said.
Deputy governor of Borno State, Zannah Umar Mustapha who granted audience to the trekker, gave him a 406 Peugeot car and N250,000. He described Kawulala as a patriotic citizen and urged all the fleeing Borno people to return and participate in rebuilding the ravaged communities.