|Mohammed (Left) and Alashock: 'I know they are dead', Mohammed told me how he lost his entire family to Boko Haram last week Friday – February 27|
This is a heart wrenching story of Mohammed who works in the same organisation with me in Ikoyi, Lagos. He is a native of Agagwe village in Dikwa Local Government Area of Bornu State. He works in Lagos, while his family was in Bornu State. Last week Friday, February 27, 2015, Mohammed lost his entire family members untimely to Boko Haram attack.
I quivered when heartbroken Mohammed told me this morning, Friday, March 6, 2015, of how his entire family perished exactly one week ago. It was actually the first time I would be having a direct contact with someone who had suffered huge and personal losses as a result of Boko Haram unending attacks.
You would recall, up till Sunday, March 01, 2015, Dikwa town was under the control of Boko Haram insurgents, but on Monday, March 02, 2015, Chadian Army announced it has seized the town from Boko Haram. “We have total control of Dikwa town”, said Chadian army spokesman Colonel Azem Bermandoua. Bermandoua added that many Boko Haram fighters were killed in the clashes, while one soldier died in the battle.
|TAKING NOTES: "My friend who lived in our house said when Boko Haram militants arrived, he took a dive into a big hole which we used to preserve corns, he was in that hole for hours till the insurgents finished and left” - Mohammed told me|
Heartbroken Mohammed told me how it all happened, his account below:
It happened last week Friday, February 27, 2015 before the break of dawn (before 6.00am); Boko Haram insurgents invaded his village, Agagwe, in Dikwa. The insurgents moved from house-to-house killing everyone at sight. His mother, his 7-year-old son (who lived with his mother), his three (blood) sisters, his senior (blood) brother, with his wife and 6 children and his junior (blood) brother – all perished in the early morning Boko Haram attack.
I asked him, “How did you get to know about this sad incident while you were in Lagos”? Mohammed responded, “My friend who lived in our house said when Boko Haram militants arrived, he took a dive into a big hole which we used to preserve corns, he was in that hole for hours till the insurgents finished and left”. “When my friend left the hole where he had been hiding, he saw dead bodies littering everywhere; he saw dead bodies of my two brothers outside our house, as he ran out of the village for safety”. It was when my friend ran and got to Cameroon IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) camp that he called me and narrated all that happened last week Friday. Mohammed told me his wife and 2-year-old kid were lucky to be alive because they recently left the village for Lagos where they currently live.
|Alashock only wished to help Mohammed tell his sad story as I am sure his story is just one of some many that never get reported, either locally or globally.|
I tried to console Mohammed that his mother, his seven year-old son, his Nieces, nephews and other family members could still be alive – more so his friend who escaped the Boko Haram Dikwa massacre didn’t confirm he saw all these people dead. May be they are in different IDPs camps in Cameroon. Mohammed vehemently said, ‘I know they are dead’. I asked him what gave him that assurance that his family members are dead, he responded, ‘I have called my people (who had escaped Boko Haram attack long time ago) in different IDPs camps in Cameroon, if they had sighted any of my family members – they responded NO – that their search had yielded no result. Yesterday, Thursday, March 05, I still spoke with my brother in-law who is in one of the Cameroonian IDPs camps; he told me he was still searching the whole camp, but for one week now no news yet, Mohammed lamented. I and my brother in-law used to talk very well; he has been living in the camp in Cameroon even before the attack on our village. I have spent so much money on telephone asking people in various IDPs camps in Cameroon if they had sighted my family, he bemoaned.
This wretched situation is better imagined, a situation where a whole village was wiped out and it is not even safe for the lucky one who are alive to go back and bury their dead fellows; in a community where Boko Haram Black and White Flag reigns supreme.
I only wish to help Mohammed tell his sad story as I am sure his story is just one of some many that never get reported, either locally or globally.
One can only wish the on-going military ops by the Nigerian military and his allies root out Boko Haram; and give us a conducive and safe environment in which internally displaced persons could return safely to the remains of their homes and restart their lives all over again.