Widow who lost child in Southern Kaduna killings narrates experience

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A widow has narrated how she lost a child in the recent Southern Kaduna killings perpetrated by herdsmen.

Mama Hajaratu David, 45, who lost her husband three years ago has been raising their children all by herself.

During the attack, Hajaratu was separated from two of her children but held on to the younger one while fleeing amid sounds of gunshots.

She said: “We were sleeping around 12 midnight when we heard gunshots. We initially thought it was our local vigilantes, but after the second shot, I quickly woke my three children from sleep. I heard more gunshots and so we ran out of the house.

“We went to a neighbour’s house but saw the house was empty. We came back and locked ourselves in our small kitchen but the sounds of bullets continued loudly all over the village and people were screaming, so we ran out of our house and out of the village. We were still being pursued. We got to a hill and looked behind and saw houses in Chibwob village on fire. We could still hear gunshots.

“We continued running and in the process, I got separated from my two children. I had my two-year-old baby on my back, so I continued running. I got to a river and decided to cross it. I entered and as i walked, I realized the river was deep because of the rains. I thought of going back but I needed to get away from the people killing in my village. I was struggling inside the river by this time and I felt my baby holding me tightly.

“I then got swept by the water which was almost at my neck. My baby was still holding tightly to me and I was still struggling with the water. I got pulled under the water but was able to come to the surface. It happened again. After the third time, I was able to get to the other side of the river. That was when I realized that my baby was not on my back anymore. I searched and searched while crying but couldn’t find her. I then continued walking in the dark. I was also naked by this time.

“After trekking for some time, I got to a village called Yagbak and knocked on someone’s door. They opened, took me in after I told them that my village was attacked and gave me clothes to wear. The next day Saturday, I and other survivors came to the camp in Zonkwa. My two children that got separated with me were found and brought here, but the body of my two-year-old baby is yet to be found.”

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