Armed ViolenceNews

Terrorists Invade Resettlement Site In North East Nigeria

Terrorists invaded a resettlement site in Nguro Soye, Borno State, Nigeria, yesterday, killing three people, injuring others, and rustling livestock. 

At around 12:25 a.m on March 7, terrorists belonging to the Boko Haram terror group invaded the resettlement site in Nguro Soye, in Bama Local Government Area, North East Nigeria, resulting in the deaths of three individuals who were all over 50 years old, and injuries to three others.

Residents say they have been terrified since. Waziri Modu, a resident of the area, told HumAngle that councillors and other local stakeholders attended the burial on Thursday morning, assuring them that actions would be taken to keep them safe. 

Waziri Modu recounted the harrowing event, “Boko Haram attacked Nguro Soye at around 12:25 a.m. They mercilessly killed Ba Judum in his quarters and another man named Bulama Bor. They seized livestock belonging to Ya Falta. In desperation, she pursued them, pleading, ‘Give me back my goats.’ Tragically, they responded with gunfire, leaving her dead as they fled with her livestock.”

As the residents stood in front of the corpses in the early morning, soldiers came to assess the situation.

“In Nguro Soye, security is virtually non-existent,” Waziru lamented to HumAngle. 

He recalls that when security officials arrived, they accused the occupants of the resettlement site of being parents of Boko Haram members.  

“I retorted, saying if they were indeed our children, they would not turn against us. I pointedly asked where the military was during the Boko Haram’s assaults.”

The Borno State government had closed down camps for internally displaced persons in Maiduguri, the state capital, about two years ago. It resettled the IDPs to sites across Bama, Kirawa, and other villages. HumAngle visited the site in Nguro Soye last year in August to assess the living conditions and found that the residents were vulnerable to attacks whenever they went in search of firewood. They also did not have access to basic amenities like school, adequate water, and healthcare. We had shared our findings with the government, who admitted that there was a lot of work to be done with far too few resources in building adequate housing for the people, but also insisted that the area was reasonably safe unless people went beyond the trenches. 

However, this attack happened right inside the designated shelters for them. 

“After the attack, a large military vehicle stationed at Bama town’s junction briefly visited Nguro Soye before departing about 20 minutes later without shooting a single bullet,” Modu said. 

“It has been about two years since our resettlement in Nguro Soye, and during this time, we have not witnessed killings by Boko Haram like this. Previously, they would pillage our goods and depart without killing,” Modu added. 

Another resident, Usman Bukar, said he had heard the gunshots from his tent that night but did not dare to go out.

“Judum was my friend,” he said of the first victim of the attack. “We went in search of firewood together. We were together up until 9 p.m. last night, talking. And today, I saw people crying close to where he lives. When I entered his house, I saw him dead on his bed, soaked in his blood.”

Three more people are reported injured and are receiving treatment at the hospital.

They killed two other people, identified as Falta Malaye and Bulama Bor.

Residents say Ba Judum spent eight years in detention at the Giwa barracks, a military detention facility in Maiduguri, where people suspected of being part of or affiliated with insurgent groups are kept. Those familiar with him and his family say he was a victim of the mass arrests of civilians during military efforts to contain the insurgency about a decade earlier and had spent all those years in detention with no reasonably established grounds nor prosecution, like hundreds of others.

The incident is the first of its kind in the location. “We have seen cases of robbery but never of murder in this fashion and on this scale.

“What we seek from the government is peace, whether it comes from the authorities or from Boko Haram. If any among them chooses to repent, we welcome them to live in harmony with us,” Usman Bukar said.

HumAngle reached out to the Borno Police Command. The Public Relations Officer, ASP Nahum Daso Kenneth, said he would gather more information about the attack and get back to us with more information on measures they would be taking. He had not responded at press time.

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