Burnt Hope: Stolen rights of Wanori & Kalari Settlers of Konduga
Tanimu Tahir, M.A Ibrahim – Maiduguri
Kalari and Wanori are two separate but proximate communities of Konduga L.G.A of Borno state with a population of over one thousand (1000) people altogether. The communities are but settlements made after being displaced from their initial communities but still maintains their names.Thus, the population size obtainable is not the exact or total population of the actual communities but settlements. This is so because a score of them are camped at Dalori camp and other satellite IDPs camps within and across the state.
Prior to the recent BHTs attack, one could say the communites were embodiment of resilient Insurgency-stricken areas recuperating from the ills of the unleashed menaces.However, the new attack has peeled off a bandaged wound and shattered the peace of healing souls.
Before The Attack:
Suspicious chopper was spotted hovering around for ten minutes with lights off. At some point, it stood still for some unmeasured period. Almost an hour after the chopper left, they got attacked.
“We saw a helicopter flying over with no lights on.we suspect it dropped something harmful to our enemies because it stood for some considerable minutes before it disappeared from our sight.Shortly after,we found ourselves in this situation.”
When asked whether they were signs that meant warning to them (the victims) they said there wasn’t any sign except that helicopter which according to them was an eyesore and premonition of disaster.
The communites have among themselves gallant youths who voluntarily did go around usually in syndicate of ten to keep eyes on any noticeable threat. They do carry along with them torchlights and whistles. Should they see something with the torchlights, whistles are blown to to signal threat so settlers can flee and to keep the security operatives on alert.
Some civilian JTF members who operate as vigilantees bitterly lamented on what transpired, as they have severally informed the security operatives of the presence of the inurgents close to the communities. They constantly ravage their farms and do away with their farm produce.
During The Attack:
On hearing the whistle, community members fled as the BHTs shot sporadically. Some settlers who saw the BHTs said they were more than 20 and attached both communities simultaneously.
“The soldiers that were position on the highway mounting checkpoints ran away when they heard gunshots from the terrorists forsaking us to the claws of the disaster we have found ourselves in”
Swift response from troops of Konduga repelled the attack and rescued community members and extinguished the fire before it could escalate.
After the Attack:
The ugly incidence left the people of Kalari and Wanori with no shelter, food, paltry income usually obtained from some minor trade within the community and many other life-needed articles.
We’re not actually disappointed rather we’ve have literally lost hope in them.Though we’re not surprised because upon complaining to them about certain issues of security importance.
they had on several occasions reminded us that they are not here to protect us but to protect the Alau Dam.”
Another community member when airing his view said ” Even recently we complained to them about our farms which we’re denied access to harvest by the terrorists but care-free response from the security operatives is always;
Forget about them (the BHTs) they’re just stopping you from farming because they need the produce to eat because they’re so hungry.
As at when compiling this report, some philanthropist and the Borno state emergency Management agency (SEMA) were the only agency to provide relief materials ranging from rice, maize gallons of oil and mats.
The people of Kalari and Wanori are in dire need of so many things.According to the Lawan(their principal traditional ruler) which practically tallied with the opinions of his people,” We first and foremost need security, secondly we need food and then shelter as our pressing needs.
In a nutshell, the people of the attacked communites do not see the military as supporters but rather salts to their paining injuries.