Over a year ago when Boko Haram insurgents swept through the fishing community of Baga in northern Borno State, horrified residents had limited options. The militants attacked and killed many, locals and security operatives alike.
58 year old Jummai Ibrahim,pictured above, who now takes refuge at an IDP camp in Borno state, recently told the heart wrenching story of how Boko Haram terrorists stormed her village in Doro-Baga and forced her to watch as they beheaded her 21 year old son. Speaking to Premium Times, Jummai said;
“I lost many of my relatives while fleeing from Baga. Immediately we made it to the outskirts of Baga, Boko Haram gunmen intercepted us and took away one of my daughters who was two months pregnant and her three-year-old son and 13 other ladies who were either my cousins or my husband’s younger ones that were living with us. One of my sons, Habibu, who was about 21 years old was killed by Boko Haram.
When they saw him with me, one of the Boko Haram gunmen told me that ‘Mama this your son is old enough to join the Civilian-JTF, so he is assumed to be a potential member of the Civilian-JTF’.
For that reason they dragged him to the ground in my presence and slit his throat. They wanted to force me to hold his legs while they were cutting off his neck, and I told them I could not do such thing.
I attempted to close my eyes because I could not stand to see how they were killing my own son like an animal, but one of them hit me with the butt of their gun on my arm, and insisted that I must watch them as they killed my son. I watched him cry and calling on me to help him, when I cried out that I could not help him, then he kept on screaming that ‘mama pray for me, and forgive me if I ever offended you, pray for me’…(sobs)…that was how my child was slaughtered and beheaded,” Jummai narrated, weeping. “I have seen pains and torture from Baga to Maiduguri.”she said
Jummai says she used to be a fish merchant when she was in Doro-Baga but she lost all to the attacks of the insurgents
“Now I am left with nothing except rags. Last year, Borno State government came to share clothes for us and that was what we have been using since then. As you can see now, the clothes have turned to rags because of everyday use. Look at my body, look at our skins, we lack soaps to bathe and even the cheapest cream to oil our body. We do not even have washing bar to wash our clothes. It is so pathetic. It is even more pathetic now that I have over 20 children including some of my own that were able to make it on their own to this camp and those of neighbours that have been killed, all living with me in the same apartment here in the camp. Food that was recently distributed by the Borno state governor during this Ramadan did not get to us in our own house. We have to depend on one or two measures of rice that some good relatives brought to us. Just imagine the irony of life…(sobs)… me a woman of means in Baga, whom people do come to meet for help; even when the local government council was in difficulties, they do come to me for assistance which I did render without blinking an eyelid. I was a very independent woman financially. I was very famous and prominent in my community; none of our Lawans (District Head) and Bulamas (village heads) would say they don’t know me”she said
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