The fight against insurgency and terrorism in Nigeria is no news to Nigerians and the Whole Wide World. It is very much expected that security personnel and armed/military forces should be the most engaged in this fight. However, Aisha is cut from a different mold; a mold off the normal military disciplines or the mainstream security training.
Aisha the Queen
There was Queen Amina of Zazzau. This is Aisha the Queen; The Queen of Sambisa forest, the much dreaded Sambisa; the hub and the ‘ascribed’ Headquarters of the Boko Haram Sect. What the terrorist consider a coven and the military consider a target, Aisha considers it home; the vicinity and area around which she was born and raised. It is clear what Boko Haram is about, and that being clear enough, the Nigerian Government has decided to go as far as they can in the fight back, even soliciting help from both local and international bodies. Aisha has volunteered to fight alongside the Military against the Boko Haram forces, and she has been committed ever since, exhibiting bravery and keen hunting abilities in the process. This show of prowess is what has earned her the title of ‘Queen Hunter
Aisha Bakari Gombi, hasn’t allowed her gender and her gender roles to be a deterring factor. Raised as an antelope hunter, she has used her experience and knowledge of the forest to the advantage of the team she leads, a team of about 15-20 male volunteers. With the local den guns and shot guns, they invade the plagued North Eastern areas in search of the insurgents; to take them down and rescue as many hostages as they can.
Aisha: Commander, Hunter and Wife
It is mind boggling enough that this hero is a woman, not because the gender is an issue, but because the terrain and nature of conflict she engages in is an issue; the calamitous potentials, the decimating consequence, the destructive tendencies etc. But Aisha is well more than just the everyday woman; she is a multi-dimensional woman. In a condensed way (and in no order of priority or significance) and without the intention to exhaust the list of what she is, she could be regarded simply as a Commander, a Hunter, a Wife.
- Aisha the Commander: At six feet of height and being described as a human of few words and a lot of action, she has the stature and the outlook of a commander; operating with the unwritten code; ‘Do More, Talk Less’. With a conviction that she is feared by the terrorist group, she has transcended just being a hunter of animals to a hunter of a mean category of mammals; from a hunter of bush meat to a hunter of ‘beasts’.
- Aisha the Hunter: Genealogically, Aisha is an offspring of hunters; a long line of hunters; born of a hunter of hunters’ ancestry. Aisha’s hunting skills impressed her father so much that he gave her his hunting rifle. This natural or inborn skills has over the years made her a folklore hero, especially to natives and victims of the violators. Some of this skills are used in training and teaching younger hunters the ‘ropes’ of the forest such as; identifying medicinal plants, their purposes, their uses, their side effects etc.
- Aisha the Wife: Another side to Aisha is her matrimonial home. With a husband that supports her cause, she feels fueled up for the impossible. Aisha’s husband is supportive of her career as a hunter, he regards her success as his success. Her passion has even seen her sell her sewing machine in order to purchase a more powerful rifle. This rifle has also served its purpose; chasing out intruders, achieving onslaughts on marauders, stifling attacks from insurgents etc. Aisha is a hero, even the natives around her acknowledge that, with so many calling on her help and assistance in rescuing loved ones from the hands of their captors.
Aisha: The Everyday Hero
Aisha is regarded as the first woman to join the band of hunters. Though first, she hasn’t been the last, because so many women have drawn strength and encouragement from her, going as far as being recruited and joining the local militia in the fight against Boko Haram. Her fights have proven fruitful many times, with each of her victories (alongside her time) stirring hope and spurring confidence in the hearts of the so many that desire to see the fight against these insurgents come to an end. Her bravery, braggadocio and bravado all combine to command the respect she has now earned from men and women alike.
Aisha Bakari Gombi is not a marvel comic hero or another fictional character; though not larger than life, she has however reached real-life superhero status for her battlefield bravery in her fight against Boko Haram. And irrespective of the fact that the lack of resources serves as the major militating factor in her fight against terrorists, Aisha is resolute about continuing this fight against Boko Haram and other terrorists group in and around her zone and this she will do… till further notice.
Featured image source: Daily Trust