“Boko Haram Destroyed My House, Burned It. I Just Managed to Escape”

TAP interviewed Mary from Adamawa State in a recent visit to a displacement camp in Nasarawa State. Mary recounts fleeing her town in Gwoza Local Government, Borno State, when Boko Haram destroyed her home in August 2014. She has been running ever since, first trekking about seven hours from her hometown in Gwoza across the border to Cameroon, then another approximately 23-hour walk from Mokolo in northern Cameroon to Mubi, Adamawa State. She ended up in a settlement for displaced people in Nasarawa State.

The interview was conducted through a translator at the site of a distribution of charity items to the displaced community by Likeminds Foundation, an Abuja-based NGO. If you would like to contribute, or donate to Likeminds, do send us an email testimonialarchiveproject@gmail.com. 

What is your name?

Your name is Mary Charles.

How long since you left your village?

August last year, 2014.

What made you leave?

It was when Boko Haram entered my house. They destroyed my house, burned it. I just managed to escape.

Did you come straight to Nasarawa after you left your home?

I trekked from Gwoza LG to Kalokota (not sure how to spell – Ed.), which is about 33km away in Cameroon. Then I trekked to Mokolo, Cameroon, where I rested a bit. From Mokolo, I re-entered Nigeria through Mubi, Yobe State. Then I left Mubi in a car for Nasarawa State.

What are your most urgent needs now?

Now, it’s all about food and clothes. The children are also supposed to be in school, bu we can’t pay school fees.

How many children do you have?

I have 7 children. Some of them in tertiary institutions, and others in primary. Also need to pay rent.

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