Shocked villagers say they are living in terror after insurgents brutally slaughtered three farmers by slitting their necks and severing their heads.
They say they now too scared to go to their lands in Kalari Abdulbe village in the Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State because they think they will be killed too.
Villagers told RNI that the three farmers were “slaughtered like animals”. Apart from cutting their necks and beheading them, they also cut off their “private parts” and threw them into the bushes.
They said the killings had terrified them and they were too scared to go to their lands to prepare them for planting, even though it was the rainy season and the right time to sow their seeds.
The farmers had gone to sweep and clear their lands on Saturday, May 4, in preparation for sowing their seeds. They also intended picking some mangoes and fetching firewood for their families.
But they ventured too close to the nearby forest and insurgents, believed to be members of the Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’way Wa’l-Jihād (JAS), better known as Boko Haram, caught them.
Mohammed Goni Bukar said: “We are in the critical situation of not being able to farm anymore. We have not even swept or cleared our lands because of Boko Haram. As I’m speaking now, today, just before you [RNI] arrived, some people ran from their farms and came back home, saying they had been chased away by Boko Haram, who arrived at the forest on motorbikes.
“We don’t know why our security personnel are not actively involved in helping us so that we can do our work. We see them at checkpoints and that’s all. They never go after the Boko Haram in the bushes. The people of our village need adequate security for protection so that we can continue farming.
“What is happening to us here in this village is very worrisome and concerning. Everyone knows that what Boko Haram insurgents are doing is totally un-Islamic and contrary to the tenets of Islam. They are barbaric. Their killing and slaughtering of innocent people is definitely not what the Islamic religion stands for. We urgently need the government to provide enough security personnel, so that we can live peacefully in our village without the threat of Boko Haram slaughtering us.”
Other villagers, mostly farmers, agreed.
Ya fanna Usman said: “Our main problem is Boko Haram. We cannot even go to our farms. If you go to your farms or to the forest, there is a good chance you will be killed by Boko Haram. We don’t know what to do.
“The rainy season has already set in. We know that in other areas famers have already started to plant seeds. But, here in this village, we have not even swept or cleared our lands because of the presence of Boko Haram.
“If the government does not provide us with adequate security so that we can continue our farming activities, there will definitely be a shortage of foods and this will lead to a serious hunger. The government must do something about this.”
Bulama Modu, the ward head of Kalari Abdulbe, confirmed that Boko Haram had slaughtered three people on their farmlands. The farmers’ necks were slit, severing their heads, like they would do an animal. He urged the government to assist them in tackling the issue of insecurity by providing adequate protection so that the villagers could continue their agricultural activities.
“This village has always been an agrarian community and we depend solely on farming.
“But, these days Boko Haram is a huge threat to us. They are stopping us from farming which is our only means of making a living. It’s the only we can sustain our livelihoods.
“Of course, it’s true that Boko Haram slaughtered three of our people. We found their corpses in the forest after we had searched for them for more than two days.
“What happened to these people is terrifying. Many of us are panicking because we fear Boko Haram could attack the village at any moment. We are begging the government to provide adequate security. Our lands need to be secure and we need them to protect us and property.”
SHETTIMA LAWAN MONGUNO