Killings orphaned 59 children – District head of Kubo
The somnolent town of Kubo Kanakuru in Shani local government area of Borno State was thrown into mourning and grief penultimate Tuesday, June 18, 2019, when 8 of its youth, who went to Borrong in Demsa local government of Adamawa State on a mission to marry a daughter of the soil were massacred in cold blood.
On that fateful Tuesday when the youths in their prime set out to visit Borrong, in search of a life partner for one of their own, Luka Yakubu, no one among them nurtured the fear that the journey will be riddled with hitches let alone end up in disaster and bloodbath.
But as fate will have it, out of the nine people who embarked on the trip, only one of them returned home alive while the remaining eight including the suitor, all perished during the trip.
Recounting his ordeal, the only survivor, Hassan Umar, aka Danladi 24 said the incident happened when they escorted one of their friend, Luka Yakubu who was on a mission to marry a daughter of Borrong.
He noted that before the fateful trip, Luka Yakubu who is a member of local hunters association, has tasked his friend in Borrong who is also a member of local hunters to tell the head of Borrong hunters of their mission into their territory because they intended to come to Borrong fully kitted in their uniforms and will bear their local rifles.
Danladi noted that as arranged, all the other eight members of the entourage who are members of the hunters association came out fully kitted bearing their rifles noting that out of the nine men, he was the only one not in uniform because he was not a member of the hunters association.
Betrayal sets in
Danladi noted that to their eternal dismay, their linkman failed to alert the people and communicate their mission to Borrong community especially to the leader of Borrong hunters association and with the precarious security situation in the area, residents became suspicious of them leading the people to surround them.
“Before our journey to Borrong, Luka has been communicating with a linkman whom he told to relay our proposed visit to the chairman of the local hunters of Borrong. In fact, he used my phone to call his link-man.
“But to our dismay, the link-man refused to do that and when the local people saw us, they became suspicious that the gift we brought which included Kolanut and other items were an invitation for war.
“Our link-man tried to explain the situation, but the irate people refused to be pacified, making the atmosphere to be redolent and charged with tension.
“While the melee lasted, some residents informed the police about the fracas in the town and the police quickly came to the scene and took us to their station.
“The leader of our entourage was left behind because his motorcycle had a flat tyre which he gave to vulcanizer to fix.
“The police later asked us to produce our leader and they were told that the leader was left behind to fix his punctured motorcycle tyre. I was then asked to call him to the police station,” Danladi said.
He noted that it was at that time the danger they were in even became palpable as the atmosphere later became pensive and charged as residents who seemed not to be satisfied with the efforts of the police toward resolving the issue in their interest began protests saying the police must release us to face jungle justice.
“The residents staged massive protests demanding our release to face jungle justice. They said if we were released, we will come back to attack them in few days.
“They vow to kill all of us and dump our corpses into the river. As the protests became violent, the police fired teargas canisters to disperse the crowd but despite that, the residents remained defiant and undaunted. They even accused the police of siding with us.
“The teargas being fired by the police made me uncomfortable and I decided to tactically and stealthily move out of the place and since I was not in uniform, no one seemed to pay attention as eyes were on the uniformed men.
“After I left the station, I went to where the motorcycle with flat tyre was being fixed and sat.
“While I was there pretending to be part of the crowd, I heard them accusing Luka Yusuf of conniving with Fulani and Muslims to attack them by bringing war kola. They said if we are allowed to escape, we will come back after few days to attack them.
“As they were talking, someone came running towards us and announced that one person has been killed and thrown into the river. One of them said he was familiar with the person killed and he was a Christian. At that point all of them shouted Jesus, our brother has been killed,” he added.
Danladi noted that while thinking of what to do, another person rushed and told them that another person has been killed adding that soldiers and mobile police have been drafted to the area and were on their way to Borrong.
Because of the information that soldiers and mobile police were on their way, people started dispersing but my major obstacle was that being a first-time visitor, I couldn’t locate the way out of the area.
In the midst of the confusion, I saw a man in pastoral attire alongside another man. When I told them I could not locate the way out of the area they described the routes for me. After I mounted my motorcycle, the pastor told me to alight so that we can offer Christian prayers thinking that I was a Christian.
I alighted and closed my eyes in line with how Christians say their prayers. After that, the pastor assured me that I will reach my destination in peace and I departed.
Gloom pervades Kubo town
Immediately I entered Kubo Kanakuru town, some people accosted me and asked about what happened and I said nothing thinking that the news has not got to the people.
But when I went deeper into the town, I saw people wearing long and gloomy faces discussing in groups. I then realized that the incident has been relayed to the people.
That informed my decision to go to the palace of the district head to tell him the fate that befell my friends and co-travelers to Borrong.
59 children become orphans
In a chat with our reporter who was at his palace to get first-hand information about the incident, the acting district head of Kubo Kanakuru, Musa Lawal said the killing of 8 members of the community left in its trail 59 orphans.
He called on the authorities to ensure that the children are adequately catered for in the areas of education and general welfare to ensure they live a fruitful life.
Malam Lawan also called on the authorities to ensure that justice is done by fishing out those involved in the spate of killings noting that only justice will guarantee peaceful coexistence in our communities.
He thanked the deputy governor of Borno State, the chairman national hunters association and other numerous individuals and groups who paid condolence and sympathy visits thanking the state government for the early relief package it brought to the people.
Lawal said immediately after the incident, he forwarded a report to the emirate council and the emirate council forwarded the report to the local government and from there to the state government which informed the visit of the deputy governor to the town.
Borno State government working to ensure justice for slain youth – Lawmaker
Meanwhile, the member representing Shani State constituency, Ibrahim Musa Inuwa Kubo has disclosed to our reporter via phone chat that he is on the same page with the state government to ensure that justice prevailed and to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book.
He said since the incident, the state government especially the governor, deputy governor, himself and the chairman of the local government did not rest as they work round the clock to ensure the culprits are brought to justice culminating in the arrest of 5 culprits so far.
“So far five people including the Sarkin Kasuwa and the head of hunters who insisted that our youths must be killed even after confirming the authenticity of their mission in Borrong from the parents of the lady are in detention.
“I spoke with Adamawa state commissioner of police who confirmed such arrests. I spoke with the local government chairman of Shani who is also deeply involved in the matter and together, we are not resting on our oars to see that justice is done to the victims,” he said.
Widows cry for help
The massacre which left in its wake several widows and 59 orphans has compounded the woes of the women some of whom are left with several children to cater for amidst dwindling fortunes.
Further investigation by our reporter revealed that the slain men left behind a harem of widows as some of them were married to between two to three wives.
The widows urged the state and the federal governments to empower them and help to educate the orphans so that they could become useful members of the society.
I leave killers of my husband to God – Luka Yakubu’s wife
The woman whose husband was at the center of the event, Magdaline Luka said she has left the killers of her husband to God.
But she called on authorities to come to the rescue of her four children noting that she will find it difficult to raise four children on her own.
Similarly, the two brothers of Luka urged the authorities to come to the rescue of the orphans who are currently in a dilemma.
Names of slain youths
Danladi gave the names of the slain youths as Ibrahim Iro, Adamu Yellow, Usman Van-dam, Dan Jaki, and Dokta Kubo.
Others are: Luka Yakubu, Alhassan Jalo, Ishaku Dandodo.
Adamawa police confirm arrest
Meanwhile, the Adamawa State police command has confirmed the arrest of some suspects in relation to the Borrong incident.
The command’s image maker, DSP Sulaiman Nguroje in a phone chat told our reporter that arrests have been made in relation to the Borrong killings noting that the suspects are helping the police with investigation adding that after investigation, the suspects will be charged to court.