Armed ViolenceNews

In Two Days, Four Farmers Were Kidnapped While Ploughing Fields In Borno Community

For two consecutive days, armed men suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents stumped farmlands and kidnapped local farmers ploughing fields in Dalori village, Borno.

Armed men suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents have attacked local farmers in Dalori village two times in a week. The village lies along the Maiduguri-Konduga road under the Konduga local government area of  Borno State, Northeast Nigeria.

They abducted an old Baba Mari, a displaced man who works as a small-scale farmer. He was unable to outrun them during their first attack on Thursday.  The following day, they attacked again and abducted three men who were ploughing the field. 

These two incidents terrorised the farmers’ community over the week, causing them to stop visiting their farms.

The three other abducted men were identified as Worobe, Bulama Ali, and Yakubu Samaila. Local sources say they were attacked and abducted on Friday morning. 

HumAngle gathered that N40,000 was raised by relatives and family members for the release of Baba Mari who was kidnapped during the first attack while the remaining three are still held captives by the insurgents at the time of filing this report.

“The incident happened in the morning. Armed men stumped on the farmland and captured four of our people. One of them struggled and escaped from captivity,” Dauda Dalori, the village head, told HumAngle. 

According to Dauda, the armed men rode on motorbikes carrying rifles with them each day they made an attack.

He added that “It’s unfortunate that we are in constant fear. They left with three of our people. It could have been four of them but luckily the other one escaped.” 

The community members are predominantly farmers and serve as a host community to many internally displaced persons who couldn’t return to their villages since their camps were shut down by the Borno State government last year. The incessant attacks and abduction affect their confidence and safety to go to the farm, they say.

“Since the beginning of this year’s rainy season, these two incidents are the only ones we have encountered so far. Last season in 2022, the story was different because we recorded multiple attacks and abductions,” Dauda said.

Amos Balami, 35 and resident of the community, has been farming for over 20 years and these incidents have terrified him the most. “We cannot go to the bush because of fear. If we come out to the farm, we are being abducted, so we have been staying at home doing nothing for the past week,” Amos said.

“We don’t know how this year 2023 is unfolding, we are pleading with the government to double up security operations in these areas and help us to cultivate our farms properly before they get destroyed by silence,” he added.

The security operatives in the area expressed dismay over the community’s lack of cooperation when such incidents occurred. “We were not aware of the two incidents until later in the form of rumour. The farmers don’t inform us on time and this is undermining our effort as a security unit in the community.” Awana Mali, head of the civilian joint task force (CJTF) unit at Dalori village, said.

“We just hear people talk about it. Like the Baba case, we just heard that N40,000 was paid for his release on the day he was kidnapped. This is really not good and we urge the community to support us whenever such things happen so that we can deal with the perpetrators professionally,” Awana added.

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Usman Abba Zanna

Usman is a multimedia journalist covering conflict, humanitarian crises, development, and peace in the Lake Chad region. He is also a media and conflict management consultant.

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