"The first times they attacked us, we stayed with our husbands and children, but two months ago the bandits came back and killed our husbands," said Ummul-Khair Lawal in tears, speaking to the Daily Trust on Saturday. About three months ago, Ummul-Khair lost her husband to bandits who previously invaded her small village of Bakali in the local government area of Giwa in the state of Kaduna, burning houses and grain.
The six-year-old mother, who is about 40 years old, explained that life has become very difficult and that she now depends on neighbors and relatives to feed her children. “My relatives residing in Iyakawa, another village not far from Bakali, wanted me to go home after my husband died, but the people of Bakali implored them to leave me alone.
They promised that as long as their children eat, my children will also eat, "he said. Until the tragic attack that left Ummul-Khair a widow, his family had lived happily.
"My husband was a farmer and was in business," she said, adding that "I extracted the peanut oil from the peanuts, I sold the palm oil and the oil, I had enough but the bandits burned everything" , like Ummul-Khair, Shafa 'Atu Shafi'I said the bandits had killed her husband about seven months ago, while her last son was only seven months old.
Since then, Shafa'atu, who is over 30 years old, has been the mother and father of her six children. "I will never forget that Tuesday," she said, "that changed everything that day.
My husband was a farmer, he was not wealthy, but he was kind and made sure we never lacked food to eat," she said. Shafa'atu, who left her late husband's home to live with family members, said her life had a drastic turn when she and her children sometimes go to bed on an empty stomach.
Despite the fact that her late husband's brother, who is also a farmer, has helped her and her children financially, the widow explained: "he doesn't have much, he is also a farmer and he lost his cereals and his house when i bandits attacked. " The women widowed by the attacks on the Zamfara communities also told how they deal with life after armed bandits killed their bras.
Some of those who spoke to the Daily Trust on Saturday said that getting what to eat is becoming very difficult, adding that sometimes they have to send their children to order food in neighborhoods.
Some of the displaced women within the tsunami area of Gusau, the capital of the state of Zamfara, have called on people, especially the wealthy, to come to their aid, particularly in matters relating to food and education for your children.
Looking troubled, the women who spoke to the Daily Trust on Saturday at their refuge said they are struggling to survive after leaving their homes and finding refuge in a place completely unknown to them. Most of the women and children, our journalist learned, are without or with very little to eat. Some say that their children ask for alms like breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Halima, a widow with seven children, who was pregnant even when the bandits attacked her village (Tsanu village) in the local government of Zurmi and killed her husband by telling how she survived. “I was pregnant when my husband was killed and now I have given birth to a baby boy, who is the seventh child. My husband's younger brother, who was a commercial motorcyclist in Lagos, sent money for our upkeep.
But a few months ago, when Lagos banned commercial motorcycles and the city was shut down because of the coronavirus, things became more difficult for us. The last time she sent us the money was in March and we haven't heard from her since, "said Halima, that even the money her brother-in-law sent her was just enough to take care of the seven children.
"I buy medicine when one of us gets sick and I buy soap to wash clothes and bathrooms. You can see that we are at a financial disadvantage," he said. Another mother of five named Lami Kabir claimed to have started the last Ramadan by fasting with very few resources available to them despite her eldest son's efforts to provide what little he gets from doing humble work.
“My older son went to look for work. Hopefully he'll come back later in the evening. So if we are lucky, he will come back with something for breakfast the next morning. Life here is difficult, "she said. Lami said that she and her children were displaced from their village in the Birnin Magaji local government area of the state by armed bandits after killing her husband and burning their homes and grain.
A another widow, Mariya Usman, who does subordinate work to live in. She and her children said that it is sometimes difficult to find humble work because of the number of people who also seek livelihoods, especially in the area where they reside. "Sometimes we go out and can't find a job to make things worse. If there is work to do, we won't have many problems.
But someone who has dependents and can't find anything to do, I think it's disastrous "he said. An old woman from the Gusami community in the local government area of Birnin Magaji said that her three children were killed by armed bandits while working on their farms and that she had to leave her community because she had no one to support her.
"I left the community after the devastating attack and took refuge here. I have never been to Gusau before and I came here with a young man whose father died even during the attack," he said.
He also said that neighbors feed her and now assistance has been reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ongoing attacks in Katsina led to the loss of life of many people who left wards and children. In the area of the local government of Batsari, more than 600 widows and more than 2,000 orphans remain.
Area chief Tukur Muazu said: "These attacks have led to massive relocation of residents as hardly a day goes by without reporting murders." “There are more than 600 widows and more than 2,000 orphans and this too is only an estimate, there could be more.
Today, these orphans and widows are in a government-run camp for internally displaced people and some well-meaning people. Please come to their aid, "she said. Some of the widows they spoke with said they lived at the mercy of the people.
In the village of Yar Gamji, Zulai Garba has lost her husband Garba Naallaro and is currently taking care of her five children, alone in Batsari's IDP camp. Speaking with the Daily Trust on Saturday, she said she had not yet dealt with her current situation, since before her husband's death they barely survived. "My children have only me and God.
My husband was a worker before the bandits killed him while working on someone's farm. "He didn't leave wealth and I don't do anything. We survived his daily earnings when he was alive. Now, you can only imagine what life is like for us without him," said Saadatu Sani, a widow and single woman, who takes care of five children. She said: “Since my husband's death, their relationships have not been expanded or supported in any way.
After its founding in 2002, Boko Haram's increasing radicalisation led to the suppression operation by the Nigerian military forces and the summary execution of its leader Mohammed Yusuf in July 2009.
Its unexpected resurgence, following a mass prison break in September 2010 in Bauchi, was accompanied by increasingly sophisticated attacks, initially against soft targets, but progressing in 2011 to include suicide bombings of police buildings and the United Nations office in Abuja.
The government's establishment of a state of emergency at the beginning of 2012, extended in the following year to cover the entire northeast of Nigeria, led to an increase in both security force abuses and militant attacks
I really don't know how I can cope with your education. I am a full time housewife with no other sources of income. "He said that Hafsu Mohammed's mother was killed last year by bandits in an attack on his village. Since his death, he has been taking care of his six children alone. Through the help of people who feed him and clothes.
"Sometimes we go to farms to work for people, but this is no longer because the farms have been abandoned for fear of attacks," she said. For Mallama Aisha Bello, 42, who lost her husband in an attack by banished to Sokoto, it was difficult to lose a householder. The widow, who remained with seven children, said, "When my husband was alive, I didn't miss anything. Soap bought it too, but now it's different.
"After her death, she started selling soybean cake locally known as Awara to make ends meet. Aisha gets soybeans on credit and pays after she makes sales. However, for some time now, she hasn't been in unable to sell because he owes the soy seller and cannot take another loan. "I buy three bowls of soy, at N1.300.
If the sponsorship is high, I earn N2,000. But other times I get from N500 to N1,000, "he revealed. It wasn't a different story for Halima Nasiru, 35, another widow who has four children." My husband's death has been very devastating. I had no one to talk to. To take care of me and my children, I had to start selling rice and cooked beans, "she revealed.
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