by Rhoda Maina (A member of the Nigeria Disaster Team)
I met Lami during the relief distribution exercise at Uba last week. She received food and clothing as part of the EYN (Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria) effort.
Lami is a 27 year old widow that lost her husband to Boko haram in February 2015. She is from my village (Lassa). As a matter of fact, they stayed in the same neighborhood with my parents before the dreaded attack. Lami and her late husband (Ujulu) and their three children were able to run to a nearby community for safety. However people in that community were also at risk because of the presence of Boko Haram in the area. After a few days, Ujulu’s elder brother, (Bitrus) who lives in Maiduguri sent a message to Ujulu that he should contact him. Bitrus had made arrangements for the family to leave that community and travel to Maiduguri.
On that fateful day, narrated Lami, ‘’My husband took a motor cycle and told me to make sure I stayed safe. He was going to look for a place where he could access the phone network to call his brother. It was after two days without his return that I knew what I greatly feared had happened.”
Ujulu met Boko Haram members on his way to the community called Sabongari. There they tied his hands behind his back and slit his throat, at least that was what Lami said with a very emotional voice.
Lami continued, ‘’Before I got the information, his friends in that community had already identified his body but could only dig a shallow grave. We went back for a proper burial and while they were burying him I hid myself in a bushy area to act as their lookout in case any Boko Haram were passing.’’
How is Lami coping?
“All hope was lost after the death of my husband. My children became sick and always asked when their father was coming home. I would look at them with tearful eyes and tell them that they would see him one day. However, in March, I attended a trauma healing workshop organized by an EYN pastor here in Uba. There I received encouragement and strength from the teaching. Many other women shared stories sadder than mine. Since then, I have picked up the courage to be strong and take care of my kids and see what God will do.’’