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Attackers informed their friends in our community before striking –Village head

The Village Head of Gan Gora, in Zango-Kataf Local Government Area, 65-year-old Bala Zogfa, who is also a displaced person, tells GO...

The Village Head of Gan Gora, in Zango-Kataf Local Government Area, 65-year-old Bala Zogfa, who is also a displaced person, tells GODWIN ISENYO about the attack that brought him and others to the IDPs camp

What’s your name and age?

I’m Bala Sogfa, the village head of Gan Gora.

Tell us about the attack that brought you to the IDPs’ camp?

On July 20, we were carrying out our normal activities in our community when, around 6pm, we started hearing indiscriminate gunshots all over the community. People ran helter-skelter for their dear lives. In the pandemonium that ensued, the villagers ran in different directions. The suspected Fulani invaders killed, maimed, looted our belongings, and burnt our houses. We were sacked from the village. By the time we returned to the village after some hours, we met our village in ruins. All our foodstuffs and livestock were stolen. The invaders came again on August 5 to attack us. That’s why I am here at the IDPs camp with my wife. We brought our women and children here, as well as the aged, while our youths are still there in the village.

 Before the invaders attacked your village, was there any prior notice?

Yes. Usually, we would hear rumours. They would usually notify us of their coming and before you know it, the attack would happen. The attackers would usually inform some of their friends. They would tell their friends to leave the village before their arrival. These are people we know. We lived together for years. They are Fulani; we know them.

 How often do you experience attacks on your village?

Almost every time.

 Did you lose any relative in any of the attacks?

Our former paramount chief, Akut Dauke, was killed during one of the attacks. In fact, the Fulani militiamen killed 12 people in our village that fateful day.

Prior to the attacks, you claimed that you received prior notice. So what action did you usually take?

What can we do? We are helpless. We have never attempted to attack Fulani for any reason. Before the last attack, the Fulani killed about six people in our village. There is nothing we can do to protect ourselves.

What’s your message to the government?

Let the government help us by ensuring that they provide adequate security so we can go back to our farms. This is the rainy season. If we don’t go back to the farm, where are we going to get food from? We are begging the government to take action in protecting the lives and property of our people.

 In your own view, why has it been difficult to stop the killings over the years?

We don’t know. We don’t have a problem with the Fulani. We don’t know the reason for the killings.

 What do you think is the solution?

Let the government intervene because we have tried on our own to discuss with the Fulani but all our efforts are to no avail.


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