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10 Years After, Families of Wrongly Detained Boko Haram Suspects Still Hopeful

Bintu Yawuri looks distressed as she thinks about her two sons who are nowhere to be found.

Picture 2: Bintu Yawuri sitting down.
Photo credit: Zainab Yetunde Adam

Bintu’s eldest son, Ali Yawuri, was killed on the spot while his brother was allegedly arrested during a military raid at Goidamgari in Maiduguri.

“I have been to Giwa Barracks Military Detention times without number seeking closure about my son, Bakura,” she recounted with tears in her eyes.

“My missing Bakura is our breadwinner. Right now, I don’t have strength, my legs are weak, but I still have to summon [the] courage to engage in [the] menial business of selling groundnut to feed myself or else I will sleep on [an] empty stomach,” Bintu added.

Bintu is one of the many women in Borno who have lost their children, husbands and family members to Boko Haram attacks over the years.

Another woman, Zainab Idris, says her 21-year-old son, Ibrahim Idris went to buy sewing thread at Baga road, only to be a victim of a military raid.

“Monday 14th March 2022, marks exactly the tenth year since I [started] seeking justice through [the] Allamin Foundation for Peace and Development,” she noted.

The Quest For Justice

The Allamin Foundation for Peace and Development has joined victims, victims relations and survivors of the Boko Haram insurgency to seek justice and accountability in Borno.

According to the foundation, hundreds of thousands of young men and boys have been arrested by the military in Maiduguri and surrounding towns in Borno state since 2011, allegedly for being members of Boko Haram.

The Executive Director of the foundation, Mrs Hamsatu Allamin, says they have testified before the Presidential Investigation Panel in 2017, reported the incident to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings and Summary Executions, some parents even filed cases before the Federal High Court in Maiduguri and this is the fourth year the Jire Dole network of victims, victim relations and survivors are coming out to plead for justice.

“We need justice, we need information, our loved ones should be released or charged to court, they are suffering in detention,” a former detainee, Ali Abba Isa appealed. 

Ali Abba from Kumshe village at Bama Local Government Area of the state spent three years in detention before he was released in 2019.

“Life in detention is not pleasant. We are congested in a room with over two hundred inmates availing themselves in [the] same cell,” he said. 

Corroborating his claim on life in detention, Modu Kolo said they were seriously tortured in detention.

“We have witnessed scores of deaths while in detention and as well lost our sources of livelihood.”

“We struggle to make ends meet without knowing our fate while residing at Gubio IDPs camp before the State Government resettled us back to our ancestral homes or anywhere decided,” he added.

Picture 4: Modu Kolo
Photo credit: Zainab Yetunde Adam

It is at the heart of Nigeria’s development to ensure peace, justice and accountability for sustainable development. 

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