THE STORY OF BAKASI BOYS :
> There Origin
> Where are they Now?
It all started in 1999 when a group of Traders in the popular Bakassi line,at Ariara Main Market in Aba,decided to take their destiny into their own hands.
At first,they were welcomed by the people whom Were fed up with the high rate of incompetence by the police,who were supposed to fight it.
Obasanjo had vowed to uproot the outfit by all means – and in fact did so eventually.
After Bakasi boys become a Frankenstein monster, which started gobbling the people it had set out to protect.
Let Us take an Unbiased Look at the Bakasi boys.
The Bakasi boys Originated from Aba Market,in Abia State.
In the 1990s, The Popular Aba Market was always besieged by Armed robbers, Kidnappers and Killers.The traders in the market were always being intimidated by hoodlums and attacked by robbers.
Business was so good for Aba artisans at the time.
This was also the period when huge mansions were sprouting in Igbo villages like giant mushrooms that had received an overdose of fertilizer.
Money is to Criminals the way nectar is to bees.
The surfeit of cash in Aba and other Igbo cities invited crime syndicates who descended on the Cities with brutal vengeance never Witnessed before.
And In most cases,if anyone go to report, the criminals would return the following day to relate to you how you had gone to report to the police and what you had said, with exactitude.
Issues got to a head when the criminals started to kidnap, and even, kill the foreign traders who usually came to evacuate the finished leather goods and clothing.
It became necessary to make outsiders understand that Aba symbolises the best and finest in Igboness, hence Aba is always the bastion of Igbo resistance and the symbol of the Igbo resilience.
So, most things that make up the Igbo reality are cooked in Aba.
There was a spontaneous uprising of the artisans at the Aria Aria Market, as they mobilized other traders in Aba and the Bakassi Boys were founded.
The traders’ uprising that gave rise to the constitution of the Bakassi Boys happened under the Military administrator that handed over to the civilians in 1999 to Gov.Uzo Kalu..
The traders, mostly indigenes of Abriba, a tribe noted for its avowed prowess and dexterity in the use of cutlass and machetes among the Igbo nation, went to their shrines to gather enough "spiritual and diabolical powers."
The result of the onslaught was an instant success, as Aba was totally cleansed of all sorts of crimes.
Suspects were subjected to ghoulish tests.
One of such is to hold a pair of machetes in the form of a cross in front of the face of the alleged evil-doer.
If his face is reflects in the machetes,he is deemed guilty,and put to savage death.
As at the time Aba and the other parts of Abia State were being ravaged by violent criminals of different descriptions, and which the arrival of the Bakassi Boys effectively uprooted, Anambra became the worse for it.
The criminals that were ravaging Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi were so daring that they operated day and night undaunted.
Having had success in reducing crime in Aba, the Bakassi Boys became "in high demand" in Anambra State and other Eastern States.
The Robbers were so bold.
After an Operation, on their way back, they will stop in front of the Government House in Awka, start shooting guns in the air and shout aloud that they were giving an executive salute to occupant of the Government House.
Another theory was that the criminals were extracts from the militant hotspots in the Niger Delta.
But because there was more money in Anambra and they could roam unchallenged, Anambra became their place of choice.
Anambra became Hell on Earth.
Many families started sleeping in churches at Night, perhaps as a way of depending on Angel Michael & Angel Gabriel Protection, Since the Police and Security Operatives has failed them.
Traditional weddings were executed outside Igboland, as every gathering was sure to attract criminals.
Life, in one word, became intolerable.
That was the harrowing situation at the twilight days of the military administration just before the arrival of Obasanjo’s administration.
In the same gesture of the Abia traders, Nnewi people also decided to take their fate into their own hands.
Once they did that, the story changed, and after two weeks of Bakassi operation in 1999, Nnewi was freed as the Bakassi Boys sanitizated the whole of Anambra State.
The sanitization operations of the Bakassi Boys became so welcome that the government of Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju that came to power in May 1999, he equipped them, after appropriating it as the official crime fighting apparatus of the state
More importantly, Anambra people living abroad were able to go home again, to contribute to development of their Constituents and States.
People would drive around the state around the clock and there was no single case of crime anywhere.
By this, alot of Innocent people were presumably Killed in error Or vendetta.
Bakassi Boys soon ran into trouble with the federal authorities.
Firstly, when some criminals who had the thugs whom they used against political Opponents, were dealt with by Bakassi Boys, they started to pull strings to do Ban the Bakasi boys.
One of them was a musician, De Doga who was generally adjudged blameless.
Then there was the popular religious leader, Edward Okeke, alias Eddie Nawgwu, and some others.
Perhaps the most abominable was the death of Barrister Igwe and his wife with an unborn baby, who were murdered in cold blood in Onitsha, by people suspected to be connected to the Bakassi Boys,..
Incidentally, Barrister Igwe, an Onitsha-based lawyer had been a loud supporter of the labour and civil organisation elements that were campaigning against what was acknowledged as Governor Mbadinuju’s clueless Government.
People started seeing the out fit as being worse than the criminals they had come to fight.
But like most good things which become mismanaged by bad people, it became a dangerous monster.
If it had intervened briefly and withdrawn,it would have enjoyed praises.
The Bakassi Boys are described as being a "highly structured organisation with a defined chain of command".
The leader of the vigilante group is the national chairman, who in 2002 was also the state chairman for Abia State.
The State chairmen coordinate branch activities; branches are led by branch chairmen.
In 1999, their leader was Nguro (Crippled)
In 2005, "Kingsley Chimezie" was leader.
The Bakassi Boys were disband
in 2002, buttheir activities did not completely stop.
What they rather did was to go underground with the identities of their leaders difficult to know.
Members of the Bakassi Boys are primarily of Igbo Ethnicity. They are generally "young, able-bodied men in their twenties or thirties", although there are reportedly some members under the age of eighteen.
New members receive two months of training on the rules of the Bakassi Boys prior to participating in the group's operations.
The Bakassi Boys initially had about 500 Members,but later grew to approximately 3,500 members.
The Bakassi Boys are known to mutilate,dismember or decapitate and burn their victims.
There have been reports of the Bakassi Boys carrying out extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests, and torture of suspected criminals.
In August 2005, the Bakassi Boys allegedly "rounded up" thirty-seven suspected criminals in the city of Aba, Abia State.
Twenty-seven of the detainees reportedly died of suffocation.
In November 2005, the Bakassi Boys were suspected in the "extra-judicial murder" of twenty people in Aba, Abia State (Vanguard 18 Nov. 2005).
Bakasi boys Funding:
Funding for the Bakasi boys activities was initially provided by the traders' associations in the states in which the group operates; however, state Governorss later "toke over the role.
In January 2006,the governor of Abia State passed into law a bill legally recognizing operations of the Bakassi Boys.
After the Banning of the Outfit by President Obasanjo, they went underground.
But in recent time, they have Started their Operations again in Anambra State.
Few weeks back, 3 Bakasi boys were killed in Aba State, by Unknown gun-men.
He has reassured Abians that the new Bakassi Boys he is introduced in Abia,would be refreshingly different.
And As the Bakassi Boys are being rejuvenated in Abia State, they should ensure that they do not become like the Frankenstein Monster that it turned out to become in Anambra state.
During which they Killed so many Innocent people out of Vendetta and Wickedness