“Dead bodies are all over the place with no one to bury them except the pigs and dogs eating them”

Mary Paul from Adamawa State fled her village in Michika Local Government in Adamawa State after a Boko Haram attack. She has moved from place to place since then, and has most recently settled in Waru Community in Abuja. She shares her story and her expectations of the new government.

What is your name?

I am Mary Paul from Adamawa State, Michika local Government.

Why are you in Waru?

My purpose of coming here is because of Boko Haram issue. They entered our village last year September 7. Majority of the people were in the church. They werer shouting ‘Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, God is great, God is great’. They were firing gun shots. Before we knew it we were already running from one mounting to another mounting and another village to another village. That is how we ran from our village to Mubi and from Mubi to Yola, before they sent transport to us and we are here. When we came, we slept in Nyanya, and they said they will get house for us cheap, I better we remain here. When we got here, they took us to the chief, and we explained to the chief and he said there is no problem.

read more

“The responsibility of the state to protect its people doesn’t cease because they have been internally displaced”

TAP interviewed the Executive Director of the National Human Rights Commission Chidi Odinkalu on the mass displacement in Nigeria as a result of conflict, with a particular focus on the conflict ongoing in the north-east. In this interview, he gives an overview of displacement in Nigeria in recent years and tells us how internally displaced people (IDPs) were treated during the elections. He talked about the Commission’s work with media partners to bring to light sexual and other abuses of IDPs, and how politicians in both of Nigeria’s major parties exploited the internally displaced during the recently concluded elections. He also talked about the need for more inter-agency work with regards to IDPs, and what support government needs to provide for that to happen.

read more

“They chased away soldiers and killed some of our people”

A man named Babangida from Gamboru Ngala in Borno State talks about the Boko Haram attack that made him flee his hometown. He moved to Fotokol, a town in Cameroon separated from the Nigerian town Gamboru by a 300 meters of river. The town of Gamboru Ngala has seen heavy fighting between Nigeria and Chadian military, and was formerly taken over by Boko Haram insurgents before being freed by Chadian military who crossed into Nigerian territory. Our interviewee Babangida talks about having to flee Gamboru Ngala for Fotokol, then Fotokol to Yola, before eventually ending up in a Maiduguri camp where he is with many of his townspeople.

read more

“It got to a point that soldiers offered us their guns”

A member of the volunteer army fighting Boko Haram known as the Civilian Joint Task Force spoke to TAP about life since having been displaced as a result of violence in his hometown of Baga, Borno State. He talks about fighting alongside Nigerian army, but getting overwhelmed and having to flee, and living with others from Baga in a crowded displacement camp in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State. He also talked about the registration process for the upcoming electoral process and expressed his willingness to vote.

read more

“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

read more

“We faced them, we fought, but they were stronger”

In this interview with a TAP volunteer in Borno State, Muhammad Kacalla from Dawan Masara near Baga in Borno State recalls how he fled his hometown following a Boko Haram attack. Now in a displacement camp, he talks about his life now and shares his willingness to vote in the upcoming Nigerian elections. 

TAP is always looking for translators for Hausa language interviews. If you are interested in volunteering with TAP, please email us at testimonialarchiveproject@gmail.com

What is your name?

Muhammad Kacalla

read more

“Boko Haram members are fully kitted in Army camouflage. Their bullets don’t hit us. Ours hit and kill them”

A member of Civilian JTF Bande Kaskas from Baga in Borno State tells how he escaped his hometown during a vicious raid by Boko Haram that killed hundreds. He is now in a displacement camp in Maiduguri, the state capital. He talks about living in fear for the past few years, what people are doing to get people into Chad, how he and his group fight Boko Haram, and gave his point of view of what happened on the day of the massacre. He also talked about what life is like in the camps and the need for education and healthcare. He also expressed his willingness to vote in Nigeria’s upcoming elections.

read more

“We have a president that would go to a social event the next day [after an attack] and be dancing”

Almost ten months after the abduction of over 200 girls in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State, the campaign to pressure the government to rescue them persists. This interview features Bring Back Our Girls campaign Strategy Committee member Bukky Shonibare, and she talks to TAP about displacement, government’s role and what she hopes the next four years would bring in terms of improving the security situation in Nigeria’s northeast. She talks about her initiative Adopt a Camp,  what ordinary people in more peaceful areas of the northeast are doing to help residents from more troubled regions, and what is needed in the government agencies’ work with displacement communities.

read more

“I heard them say ‘kill them! shoot them!'”

TAP interviewed a young woman from Enugu State who lived in Borno for close to a decade, and worked as a teacher in Borno State for three years. She has now returned to Enugu after having experienced wave after wave of violence in her neighbourhood. She talks to TAP about how she escaped an attack on her neighbourhood and hastily returned to her home state, the debilitating impact of the violence on her family’s livelihood. The bureaucratic hurdles that have hindered government’s reappointment of her to a school in Enugu State give insight into the situation facing many civil servants who have to leave violence-affected states to resettle elsewhere in the country. 

read more

“I kept my grip firm on the hand with the gun”

A survivor of the Gombe attack by Boko Haram speaks to a TAP volunteer about being present at the site of the attack and what he experienced. He talked about how his own intervention helped the authorities catch a suspected Boko Haram member, and expressed the hope that justice will be served.

The first explosion came when I was at the entrance of our office at Gombe Line Park. The first car exploded and the people ran outside. The people inside got upset/confused and ran outside. We also got upset but not as those inside, so I stood still. While standing there then I saw someone with a gun who shot under a parked car, and the car exploded. He then ran into the midst of people. I grabbed him. He kept struggling to turn the gun at me in order to shoot at me. I kept my grip firm on the hand with the gun. While the struggle continued, the standby policemen came in and rescued him from us. Already there were other two of his colleagues that were spotted. They were caught too. They pleaded for mercy and protested that they were not alone, there were others around. We then handed them over to the police. In a nutshell, three people got caught red-handed.

read more