Zabarmari massacre: ‘My children for no dey hawk charcoal if to say dem no kill my husband’

Woman dey hold picture


Sunday November 28, 2021 na im mark exactly one year since Boko Haram kill about 43 rice farmers for dia farms, for Zabarmari, Borno state. Di incident grab international attention because of di gruesome nature.

Among di numbers wey die include children as young as 12 year old wey bin dey helep dia parents or relatives for farm.

24-year-old Mallama Hajara husband Musa Zabarmari dey among pipo wey dem kill on dat bloody Saturday last year and she tell BBC Pidgin say life no easy at all as na charcoal her three children dey hawk for dem to survive.

“Wetin I go tok be say di last one year dey very tough for us as a family, I think about my husband every day and how life for dey easy for us assuming e dey alive.”

“At di moment na charcoal my three children dey hawk for street, money wey dem realise na im we dey use survive, I dey tie am for black nylon for dem to hawk, N100 or N200 for each bag.”

“To remarry no dey hungry me now as na how to build beta future for me and my children dey my mind now I don even enrol for school again.”

Papa holding picture


Mallam Musa Ibrahim lose three of im children for di killings and e tell BBC Pidgin say e still dey remember how dem tell am goodbye as dem leave for farm dat particular day not knowing na di last time e go see dem.

“Abubakar, Musa and Umar (name of im children) Na dem be breadwinners for di family and dem kill all of dem, now na just help from pipo to survive.”

“Abubakar dey married with three children and di oda two neva marry but assuming dem dey alive I know say dem for don dey plan marriage.”

Mallam Musa say na im dey take care of im three grandchildren at di moment since im pikin don die, e call on goment to continue to help dem so dat dem go live beta life.

Nasiru Abdulaziz, Zabarmari na im be secretary for di farmers union, e tok say dem hold prayers for di town to remember family, friends and colleagues wey die one year ago.

“Wetin happun touch almost all families for our town na why we come out to pray and remember dem as one year don reach.”

E add say security wey goment provide for dia farms still dey and na im allow dem to feel comfortable going to farm anytime.

Survivor narrate how ‘God save im life’

Pipo wey dem bury


44-year-old Muhammad Sani na one of di survivors from di horrors of dat day and e yan say na di first time wey e go watch as dem dey slaughter pesin and to sleep for night still dey hard am.

Unlike di odas wey die for di attack, Muhammad no be farmer but fisherman wey comot to go fish for Koshebe town river with im friend and e yan say dem no know wetin dey await dem as dem comot in di morning.

“Apart from ram and chicken I neva witness any oda slaughtering until dat day wen dem slaughter pesin for my front and I stand dey watch, to sleep still dey hard me based on wetin I see, na God save my life.”

Muhammad say dat day dem don already catch many fishes and dey make dia way to Koshebe town wen dem see men with guns for dia front.

“Dem ask us say from wia, we say we be fishermen and we dey go Koshebe, dem come ask us weda we get pots and we say no, na im dem say make we lead dem to wia dem go get.”

“Dem collect all our fishes come carry us go one big room wia we meet many oda pipo, we be over 50 in number, I recognise many wey be farmers from Zabarmari town.”

“Dem tell us say di reason dem pack us come na because some of us dey give Nigerian Army information about dia whereabouts and we must pay.”

Man wey dey sun


Muhammad say with all dia hands and legs tied up, di next tin, dem start to carry pipo one by one to go kill and wen one man turn come and e dey argue with dem, dem kill am inside di room.

“So for all di oda ones, dem carry outside to go slaughter dem but dis particular man argue with dem and e pain dem wey make dem slaughter am in front of everybody, I still dey see how e take happun.”

On how dem take escape, Muhammad say na release Boko Haram release some of dem to go explain wetin happun to dia town pipo and e dey lucky to dey among.

“As we remain 13 inside di room, dia oga come yan say una wey remain we no go kill una, make una go explain wetin happun to una pipo if una like tell Nigerian Army wia we dey, we dey wait for dem.”

Finally Muhammad say wetim happun make am abandon fishing for life.