A 60-year-old widow, Mrs. Murna Yakubu from Ungwan Mississi community in the Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, tells GODWIN ISENYO that the Fulani herdsmen murdered her husband in November 2016 and killed her son on last year’s Christmas EveCan you tell us what happened on the day your husband was murdered?
In November 2016, we were at home with the children chatting when we suddenly heard gunshots. We thought the shooting was taking place in a neighbouring community. I was at home while my husband was at the village square. He was with the village head. Two of my children who were with him at the village square suddenly rushed home in tears to tell me that my husband and the village head were gunned down. They said the assailants wore soldier uniforms. They told me that those at the village square thought the gunmen were real soldiers who were assigned to the community to keep peace. But they were wrong. Yakubu, my husband, was a man of peace. When we heard the gunshots, we thought it was a neighbouring community. We did not know that my husband was involved. He wouldn’t hurt a fly. We ran to Goska, a nearby community to take refuge. We went there to meet the district head, who is a younger brother to my husband.
We learnt your son was also involved, how did it happen?
On December 24, 2016, which was the eve of Christmas, Fulani herdmen struck in Goska where we were taking refuge. My son was gruesomely murdered on that day. He left behind a young wife and a four-month-old baby that we are nursing at the moment.
He was a kind young man. Every year, my son harvested about 60 bags of beans and between 30 to 40 bags of maize. But as I am talking to you now, I don’t have even one bag of beans in the village. This is part of the effect of the whole crisis.
How are you coping now that the breadwinner of the family is no more?
It has been difficult. My surviving son brought me to the city from the village. We cannot go to the farm. We cannot feed the family again. The Fulani are in the bush there, daring us to come closer.
What can government do about the crisis?
What can I say? Can the government bring back my husband? Can the government bring back my son? Our situation is pathetic. Look at the vibrant youths in the village who were feeding their family before but cannot do that now due to the heavy attacks carried out by the Fulani on us. Our houses were burnt. We want to go back to our ancestral home. The government should build our houses. We want to go back to farm. They should go into the bush and drive the Fulani away.
The government should fish out the perpetrators. The police should go into the bush. They (security agents) know the hideout of the Fulani. The security men have told us on several occasions that they have not been given the orders to go inside the bush. The security operatives must go inside the bush and clear the attackers before we can have peace. The season is fast approaching and we want to go and cultivate our farmlands.
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