Photo: The Palace of the Shehu of Bama, Google Images
BY YERWA EXPRESS NEWS | SEPTEMBER 1, 2017
This day 2014, Boko Haram launched a massive attack on Bama local government of Borno, in what's by far one of its most devastating attacks.
The attack led to the displacement of thousands of persons to Maiduguri who till date are kept in various IDP camps.
Aside that, the attack virtually left the beautiful commercial town in ruins, while many lives were met with guns, explosive devices and other deadly weapons.
In the attack, a major army barracks was ransacked and many properties, including the decades-old palace of the Shehu of Bama were reduced to rubble, leaving the government with the difficult task of rebuilding it all over again.
Traditional rulers, security operatives, businessmen, women and young children were all victims of the merciless attack.
It left many widows and widowers, orphans, unaccompanied minors and others not categorised with a lifetime injury.
Yazari Bama, remembering the experience said, 'after that, the world ended for me; even though the power of hope has been intact, keeping me moving'.
Yazari could not tell where her two daughters and 41 year old husband are right now, but 'something', she said tells her 'that they are fine wherever they are'.
Audacity of hope, sums her case--she is among the few who refuse to be broken by the piercing bruises of war.
In the attack, Haruna Kadai's hope for marriage was dashed once more as the would-be bride, like many other girls, was abducted merely a week to the solemnisation.
But to the people, the irony of this day, sad day indeed, is that, it coincided with one of, ordinarily, the most important festivities to Muslims in a year, who form over 98% of the population of Bama.
'This is not sallah as far as I am concerned', Mai Ali Lawan, an IDP at Dalori IDP Camp said, noting that 'it is only helplessness that will make a man from Bama to celebrate eid elsewhere'.
'My prayer is, may this not be the case next year', he added.
Reconstruction works have been on for some time now in the local government. Aliko Dangote, multi billionaire businessman has donated N2 billion for reconstruction of destroyed communities and it was pumped into Bama. Victim Support Fund has also launched some of the reconstruction works it carried out last year in the local government. Even though the stage at which the works are is not yet very clear, it is believed to be in an advanced stage. Kashim Shettima, Borno governor, was there last November to both, according to him, inspect and expedite the works. However, what is known is that at the moment, there's no official date for resettlement of these persons.
And without this knowledge yet, some, it seems, have learnt to stop anticipating--they move on. At Damboa road behind Indimi Mosque where many of them seem to have found a new base, the cap making ingenuity exclusively typical of them has found resurrection, or like do such skills, defiance--a new settlement, perhaps a rudimentary factory of cap makers has already cropped up. But one of them, Ali Kolo still said, 'though we are comfortable here, we will definitely return as soon as peace is back'.