March 29, 2015 – Nigerian Woman, Mother Buries Twins, Babies Alive To Escape Boko Haram Attack As Terrorists Behead Christians Like Animals
Close to 2000 people who fled Northern Nigeria at the height of Boko Haram attacks in their areas have found succour at the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigerian (EYN) church otherwise known as The Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.
Majority of them are either living with their relations or church members in Jos city, Plateau State, while some have rented houses with the help of voluntary organizations and are trying to piece the crumbs of their lives together.
Some of them narrated their mind-boggling experiences in this interview with Sunday Sun.
Non-converts were slaughtered like animals – Rev. Yughuda Z. Mdurvwa
“I was the EYN pastor of Lonkwan Mubi. Currently I am the manager of the EYN Disaster Project. I was appointed the project manager in November 2014 after I was displaced from my church in Mubi.
My journey to Jos began on 2nd of October 2014 when our town was invaded. Around 9: 00 am. By 10: 30 am, all the roads had been blocked. We had to escape to Cameroun through a bush path and spent five days before returning to Nigeria.
My family left early before Boko Haram members arrived because we had heard the news earlier, that Mubi would be captured by Boko Haram that day. I told my wife to run with the children. So they had left for Gombi but I stayed behind to see what would happen to the church members.
The army also knew they were coming. We ran with the soldiers to Cameroun. They took with them their machine guns without firing a shot. Some of them took off their uniforms in order not to be identified. They said they could not shoot because they were not given the order to do so. This was far from what we expected because few days before the attack, the Army got supply of ammunition.
We saw them arrive and we were jubilating that the Army was going to defeat the insurgents but that was not the case. The Boko Haram members were shooting at random. Some people they caught while running were killed while some that fell into their hands were asked if they were Christians. Those who answered in the affirmative were told to denounce Christ. Those who conceded were freed but those who refused were slaughtered like animals with their heads severed and placed on their backs. We spent five days in Cameroun before coming back to Nigeria. When I went back in January, our church in Mubi, our houses and everything we had, had been destroyed.
Mother buried twins alive
Our experience while going to Cameroun was very pathetic. We travelled through bush paths. We were over 2000 that left for Cameroun that day. Those who left Mubi before the Boko Haram insurgents arrived left on foot not minding the distance. There was a case of a woman who gave birth to a set of twins on the way but because she was unable to escape with them, she buried them alive. One of my church members picked a child on the way and up till today the child is still living with her. My family is now with me in Jos. Now we have rented a house in Rantya.
Agony of Pastor Abel Dzarmah, a father of four
My wife and children were in Mubi while I was working at Garkida; all in Adamawa State. I had just registered the children in school because of the security challenges in the area, I registered them on Monday and they resumed on Tuesday. The village was captured by Boko Haram on Wednesday. Early on October 28, 2014, I was told that there was a problem and should rush home. By the time I returned, it was too late; I could not enter Mubi. One of my brothers-in-law called and informed me that they had run into Boko Haram members.
So I went back. I was always coming back to see if I could gain entry but I could not. Two days later I heard that my sister in-law and one of my daughters were seen at a place called Dilwartira. That time it was impossible to travel with the car. So I chartered a motor cycle and went there. When I got there, I was told that they had been taken away because they were injured. I was asked to check my wife’s village in Makira. There too, I discovered they were not there.
I returned to Gombi. I was there when my wife’s elder brother called and said that he found them and he was treating them at Yola. I decided to go to Yola. On getting to Yola, I was informed that they were saved by the grace of God, after they were carried to a place by Boko Haram members but God intervened as a military aircraft attacked the place and three of them were able to escape; that is my wife and two children but they did not know whether the other children were safe. I summoned courage and started searching all over the place for the others. I usually passed through Maiha to look for them but Boko Haram again captured the place again. So I surrendered; waiting for God to intervene again.
Later a team of security men attacked Mubi and Maiha and the two towns became free. The Boko Haram people had fled to Hong and Gombi. The road was again blocked completely and there was no network to even get anywhere.
So I waited until a month later before I got news about them. So I waited until a month later
One late evening I got a call that some people saw my daughter in Mubi but could not take her from where she was because the bomb had affected her leg and that it had even been amputated. I was disturbed but that very night I hired a car and got ready. Early in the morning, we headed for Mubi from Yola. We could not pass through the straight road and had to go through one village, which I cannot even remember its name now because that route was new to me. We entered Maiha which the army had taken over. I had to meet the soldiers and explained my mission to them. I was allowed to enter. Fortunately, I located my 16-year-old daughter ( bursts into tears). I saw my daughter in an Imar dress, (Hijab) something she had never worn before, with one of her legs amputated. I had to pick up courage and pretended I was not bothered by her condition.
I entered the house and met a lot of them. There were about six girls. They told me the Boko Haram members camped them there because most of them had problems. Some had broken legs, some had gunshot wounds. They just piled them in the room, gave them food and treatment. But later the Army overthrew them. They told them when they get healed, they would be carried to Sambisa. The car I took there was not spacious enough to carry all of us but we had to manage the vehicle like that. Seven of us including the driver got into the vehicle. We could not get to Yola that day because it was late. So we had to sleep on the way. On getting to Yola the following day, I took them directly to Federal Medical Centre. I left them in care of my brother and left. I had to leave because before we got to Yola, I got the news that my eight-year-old son was sighted in Cameroon. I could not rest because I thought my son would be in the same condition I met my daughter.
I left Yola for Bele and from there I chartered a motorbike to Bukula. I spent the night there. Since I knew nobody there I was prepared to sleep wherever I found myself. But to God be the glory, I saw a known face from Sahuda. So he took me to a shop owner and begged him to allow me spend the night in his shop. I slept there. Since they told me my son was in Buhar Central, I chartered a motorbike to the place the following morning. I was told that motorbikes were not allowed to enter Buhar Central. The cyclist directed me where to go. I had a number with me which they asked me to call on getting to Buhar Central. I called the number but got no response. I did not know what to do next. As I was going, I saw the sign board of a Roman Catholic Church and traced the church. I was about to ask for the Reverend Father when I saw a woman I knew. She introduced me to the Father. I asked her if she was together with my son and she said yes. I asked for his whereabouts and I was told he had been taken to another place. On getting to where he was, I saw him walking about. When he saw me he asked if I ran to the place. I said no that I had only come to search for him. From there, we chartered another car to Yola. That was how I rescued all of them.
Heartbroken mother of three whose son was killed right in her presence
I was at work the day Mubi was captured by Boko Haram. I rushed to collect the children from school. We came back home to get ready to leave but as I was trying to put water in a plastic container for us to take along, I heard gunshots, signaling their arrival into town. I then gathered everybody around in order to hide in a room. We kept hearing more gunshots. Not long we heard a sound as if a vehicle stopped in front of our house. I decided to peep to see who it was. Then we saw what looked like an army vehicle with men in army uniforms but they were wearing turbans on their head
When they came out of the vehicle we saw that they had slippers on their feet. I told my children that these must be the insurgents. So we remained quiet in the house and started praying. We kept praying until I felt that since they had invaded the town there was no way out. The best thing is to make food for everyone and prepare for any eventuality. I made the food somehow without salt or pepper and everyone ate it together like that.
One of my in-laws climbed the fence into our compound from another house and brought anointing oil to us. We all prayed together and drank a little of the oil. Then I had seven children with me. Three were for my elder sister and four were mine. We were praying and calling people on phone to tell them our condition. When we saw that the gunshots were getting too much we decided to leave our house. We climbed the fence and pushed the children down to the other side of the wall, one after the other into another house behind us. We were still calling on our people to tell them what was happening. From one of the calls we were informed about the time they go for prayers. We were advised to escape when they go for prayers.
About 1:30pm when we expected them to go for prayers we made attempt to escape. Unknown to us they did not go anywhere but were by the gate hiding near the drainage. As we set out they got up from their hiding and ordered all of us to come out. As we were filing out, I pushed my first son, a polytechnic student with us and one of our neighbours to another direction. I asked them to run into a house to hide. The Boko Haram men saw us and ordered them to come back to where they were. When we got to where they were, they asked us if we were Christians or Muslims. We said we were Christians. There were some girls among us who wore the Imar (long Hijab) but they are Christians. They told the children that your parents have deceived you and refused to show you the true religion. They said they were taking us to their boss and that if he liked he would allow us to go. If not, we would become their slaves. So they took us to a house where we sat on the floor. They brought out drinks, bread and water; asking us to eat. One of them brought out a handcuff and said he would chain Evelyn, my niece and use her. I started begging him to leave her.
It was at that point, my son who was an under-graduate and one of our neighbours tried to run away but they followed them and caught up with them and killed them like rams right in front of the house. Then they took us to another house. We slept in the house. The following morning they gave us food with drinks but nobody wanted to touch their food. Some of us were fasting but I asked the children to eat the food that I would pray for them and nothing would happen to them.
I asked the women that were with us whether we should pretend that we have renounced our faith like the Gwoza women and collect the veil from them so that they allow us to go or we should stay firm on our religion. They said we should stay firm on our faith. I agreed with them. Then I used the anointing oil again and made cross on everybody’s foreheads.
Among us were women who had relations in the military and were calling them and describing where we were. It was not too long after that we heard the first bomb thrown by a jet close to where we were. Many of us shouted Jesus on hearing it. Though it was not thrown directly on the house but it was close by. It was that first bomb that affected most of the children on their eyes. Later I knew that it completely destroyed my last son’s eyes. The second bomb that was thrown by the jet to the other side of the house made most of us to faint. When I regained consciousness, I called one of my sons and he answered. I called Evelyn. I did not hear her not knowing that she sat close by calling me but I could not hear her because the dust that came from the place that was bombed had covered her. I could not see her or hear her. I saw my first daughter, Peace on the floor, still unconscious.
I tried waking her but she did not response. I dragged her younger sister and my second son, Wamanye who is nine years old in preparation to leave. He asked for his younger brother, and I told him he was with us. He looked at him and saw that the bomb had affected one of his eyes. He said mummy leave me let me die. You can go with my younger brother. So I dropped his hand reluctantly, carried his brother and held the other girl. We started running from there. We ran until we got to an unknown village. The people were kind to us. They gave us food and the local drink, kunu. We ate and slept there. The following day the villagers took us to another village and paid a motorbike to take us to another village. When we got to that village, we saw many people from Mubi. We were given water to take our bath. Not long I saw somebody I knew and I sent him to our village. He had not gotten there when he met my elder brother on the way. That was how they came to pick us and took us to Yola. When we did not see my second son and Evelyn, I thought they had died; not knowing that they were held by the Boko Haram insurgents who were treating them of the wound they sustained during the bomb blast. Instead of treating the wound on Evelyn’s leg, they decided to amputate the leg. They were giving them drugs which they knew nothing about their potency.
It was learnt that when soldiers entered Mubi, they freed all of them held by the Boko Haram. The boy was walking about aimlessly. He went to our house, seeing dead bodies littering everywhere and even saw the corpse of his elder brother where he was killed. It was as he was walking about that he saw a known face. The woman was even trying to run away from him because he was wearing a long caftan given to him by the Boko Haram men. The woman thought he was their member until he called her and told her he is the son of Mama Peace. That was when she moved closer. They too were trying to leave the town. He told them he was together with Evelyn but they could not pick her because of the condition of her leg but took the boy with them to Yola. All of them have wounds.
Later we came to join my sister’s family in Jos. Now I am just alive by the grace of God because when I look at these children, their condition worries me a lot. I can’t help but wonder about the condition of my first daughter still missing. There is no problem with my son that was killed. He is already resting with the Lord. I pray God will heal these ones still alive.
[Reported By The Sun]