“One fateful Saturday after morning prayers, we started to hear gun-shots”

Alh. Yusuf talks to us about the day he fled his hometown Baga, Borno State, and what life is like in the displacement camps. He tell us about others from Baga that he met in the displacement camp, including his parents who spent over 10 days in the bush before they found refuge. He also shares his willingness to vote in the upcoming elections.

This interview was translated form Hausa by a TAP volunteer. If you’re interested in volunteering with TAP, please send us an email at testimonialarchiveproject@gmail.com

What is your name?

My name is Kaka Ali Alhaji Yusuf.

Where are you from?

From Baga.

Is it from Baga that you came to this camp?

Yes.

How did you know about this camp?

Government established this camp. When we came for refuge, we were told this is where we would stay.

How is Baga the last two years?

We have been having a lot of issues with Boko Haram. They come at nights to kidnap 2 or 3 people and kill. This continued until one day when they attacked and we were chased out of our town.

Tell us of the attack that made you vacate your town for this place.

It was one fateful Saturday after morning prayers that we started to hear gun-shots. We thought it was the army that are chasing the Boko Haram. It went that way until the soldiers at Mile 4 had left the Barracks. Boko Haram had approached Baga. Soldiers at Baga held them at the entrance of town until they were overpowered, then Boko Haram entered Baga and started killing our people. We had to flee and leave Baga for them.

In all that happened, did you lose any close relation?

Yes. I lost one person from my village.

In this camp do you have any family member?

Yes. My parents are with me here. They spent over ten days in the bush before God brought them here.

Are there people from Baga that are in this camp, people you recognize or know?

Yes.  They are many.

Are there doctors in this camp?

There are doctors. They are helping those with bullet wounds, other ailments and even women at delivery.

Do you know if the government has been helping here?

Yes, she has been helping.

Does the government do any form of education or they just hand over materials and leave?

Earlier, government would only bring in food and bedding items and go. But yesterday government officials came and said the children would start school. They have started taking down the names of the children in camp.

Do you think INEC is making any arrangement for you so that you also could be part of the elections?

Yes. They have distributed our permanent voter’s card. For those that didn’t register in 2011, they registered them and gave them their cards too.

What is the important thing that you need the government to provide for you in this camp?

We have all that we need in this camp. The only thing that we also need again is free movement. We should be able to go out of the camp freely without restriction.

Now that you have your voter’s cards, are you willing to go to the polls?

Yes we are.

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