Published: 2017-11-28 17:26
Last Updated: 2017-11-28 17:26
Nigerian authorities are planning to turn the house of Boko Haram’s founder into a museum in Maiduguri city in Borno state, in a step to boost tourism in the country.
Borno state, in north-eastern Nigeria, said they are also considering a plan to turn the Sambisa forest, the group’s base, into a tourist center.
Mohammed Bulama, Borno State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information and Culture, told reporters the house in Maiduguri would become a museum "where all the things that had happened relating to the insurgency will be archived", the News Agency of Nigeria reported.
"We want to document and archive all that had happened so that our future generation will be able to have first hand information," he said.
They also hope to restore the Sambisa forest, where the Chibok girls were kept after being kidnapped in 2014, back into a game reserve.
"What we intend to do when stability is fully achieved is to convert the forest into a tourist centre in order to show the world what has happened," he said.
However, experts criticized the step by the Nigerian government, saying the plans risk immortalising founder Mohammed Yusuf, according to the BBC News.
"They should look for a place like the police college, which the group destroyed," human rights lawyer Anthony Agholahon told the BBC.
"They should not be using the house of someone who killed people."
Boko Haram is an Islamist militant organization based in northeastern Nigeria, and which is also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon. It is responsible for killing tens of thousands people, and displacing millions from their homes.
The Islamic militant group was founded in 2002, by Mohammed Yusuf, the group’s spiritual leader until he was killed in the 2009 Boko Haram uprising. This was a three-day conflict between the Islamic group and the Nigerian security forces, which resulted in more than 1,000 deaths, with around 700 killed in the city of Maiduguri alone.
The Nigerian government claims it is winning the war against the group, and it appears officials in Borno state, one of the worst affected areas, are looking to the future.