By Hassan Umar Shallpella
In every association or group, there is a laid down guiding rules for members to follow and in some associations like that of Hunters apart from guiding rules, oath taking popularly known as Salala are performed annually as a deliberate move to expose bad eggs amongst them so that each member will discharge his/her assigned duties diligently without betraying the confidence repose on him/her.
The history of Salala dated back to centuries and passed from generation to generation as it is exclusively preserved for hunters; however those who attended the occasion can equally be allowed to partake. Salala which is a concoction of a mixture of herbs and to be drink by each hunter that attended the event has assisted them a lot towards gaining success over an enemy either in the battle field or the like.
The twist of event in Nigeria, Chad, Cameroun, Niger and other parts of Lake Chad Basin with the advent of insurgent group (Boko Haram), it is a evidently clear that hunters have played a significant role in collaboration with the Military in degrading the insurgents in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria with the liberation of several local government areas hitherto under the control of insurgents and they are still fighting the insurgents along the borders of Nigeria, Niger and Cameroun Republic. The achievements recorded by the hunters in the fight against Boko Haram could not have been possible without the power of Salala as identity of betrayers was revealed within the first two months of drinking Salala.
The 12th edition festival of oath taking Salala by hunter’s in North-Eastern part of Nigeria and their Camerounian counterpart came to a climax on Saturday 31st March, 2018 at the ground ceremony at Unguwan Sangere/Polewaya in Mayo- Belwa local government area of Adamawa state. Some traders and herbs sellers took advantage of the event and make brisk business through the sale of their wares.
Representatives of hunters that attended this year’s event are from Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, Adamawa and Camerounian Republic but Borno state was conspicuously absent and this might not be unconnected with the continued cleansing the remnants of Boko Haram sect by the hunters with the continued launch of attacks on soft targets in Borno state by the insurgents.
Addressing the gathering, Alhaji Muhammadu Usman Tola, the North-East chairman of Hunters Association tasked hunters to continue with their sacrifice in defending their territories from the menace of Boko Haram, Kidnappers and other criminal minded people in the society and also charged the hunters to operate within the confine of the law by obeying the constituted authorities and work hand in hand with police and other security agencies.
He said Salala is an event organized for oath taking by members so that identity of any betrayer amongst them will be exposed within a month or so and also to seek Allah’s intervention for peace to reign in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin in particular and the occasion also serve as a unifying ground for hunters to interact with one another.
Usman Tola further said Salala has been inherited from forefathers and pass it from generations to generations so that hunting profession will remain undiluted.
Guest honour at the event, Chief Medan Teneke in his speech gave kudos to hunters for their selfless service to their father land by scarifying their lives for the protection of nation and called on Government at all levels to assist the hunters with working materials, operational vehicles and financial assistance to encourage them to do more.
Mohammed Bako, Chairman Mayo-Belwa local government council had expressed happiness with the role played by hunters in the restoration of peace in the North-East, enjoined them not to relent and pledged that the council will continue assist to the hunters to enhance their work.
In an interview with the Scope the Sarkin Bakan Wangai and that of Beka, Mallam Isa Mai and Alhaji Yusufu Beka both from Republic of Cameroun said they are working hand in hand with hunters in Nigeria to ensure the elimination of Boko Haram in the two countries.
They noted that harmonious working relationship between hunters in Cameroun and Nigeria has greatly aided the fight against insurgents, Cattle rustlers, kidnappers, and other criminals that operate along the border towns.
They however lamented over lack of logistic, working materials which hampers their operation and solicited for government support to enable them performed effectively.