On Saturday, 4 October, 2013, Bauchi, capital of Bauchi State, was experiencing an unusually cold weather. At the Old GRA, a suburb of the city, Ismaila Gambo, a 21-year-old with a neatly trimmed beard got up at dawn and headed to a nearby mosque for his morning prayers. He wore a grey sweatshirt atop a pair of jeans and boots.
Ismaila’s dressing suggested that he was off to some high-energy work. But he was actually headed for Maiduguri, capital of Borno State where he believed he was to carry out a self-appointed divine assignment.
Upstairs, in a bedroom in the Gambos’ home, a duplex, his 17–year-old sister, Khadija, said her own prayers. She was dressed in a long gown and wore a headscarf as she waited for her brother to return.
Khadija wore a niqabi, a veil worn by a Muslim woman so that only the eyes are visible. Soon…
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