By Theodore Shoebat
A Christian family in Nigeria, consisting of a mother and her children, was abducted by Muslims, and when the mother began weeping bitterly, once of the Muslims said callously:
If you cry, it’s useless. If you don’t cry, it’s useless.
Other horror stories have happened within the same area of Nigeria. Thirty Muslim men, all attired in turbans and armed with large guns, attacked a rural area and began executing chaos everywhere. When one man tried to flee, the Muslims shot and killed him in cold blood. One report says:
In September, the attackers came again: 30 turbaned men with covered faces, big guns and camouflage clothing. Juwanda’s husband tried to flee but was shot in the chest and killed.
Horrors became commonplace for Juwanda: She saw a young man shot in the head as he fled along a rural track. She watched a neighboring woman weep bitterly as gunmen abducted her with her children.
One woman, Juwanda, was forced to renounce Christianity. She recounted the horrifying event:
They said we should never go back to church because they had brought a new religion… We were going to be converted to Islam. …When I went to the market, I wore the veil… But at home, I took it off and prayed.
When the Muslims returned to the village, they began to shoot and murder people at random, and burn churches. Clement Nwankwo of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Center gave the harrowing truth of the inefficiency of the Nigerian government in fighting the Muslim terrorists:
The army is unable to fight the war. The police are unable to maintain security… To me there are only two responses. Military force: Subdue them. And good governance. You’ve got to deliver development. You’ve got to end corruption. That’s what brings it to an end.
A local farmer named Haruna Zanga was shot by Muslim gangsters, but survived, although three other men were murdered that same day. Haruna recounted:
When they shot me, I just fell down. They thought I was dead… They shot and killed four other people that day.
While he was in the hospital an old friend told him not to return to his area, in Gavva West, because the Muslims were planning attacking it again:
He told me to leave. He said, ‘Don’t go back to Gavva West, because if you go there, people are coming to attack that place.’ …I was terrified, but what could I do? I was feeling that they were wicked people bent on destroying society.
More murders also occurred, as one report tells us:
When he returned to Gavva West a month later, the attacks worsened. His grandson Peter Biye, 18, was abducted and killed for refusing to convert to Islam. Many girls and women were also taken.
In September, insurgents surrounded and attacked the village at dusk, killing nine people.
They burned 300 houses, leaving only 26 standing. Zanga and most other villagers fled the next day.
Zanga and dozens of others from the Gwoza area fled to Fuga village in the central of the country, where they have been offered refuge and land.
“The last attack was the worst,” Zanga said. “They burned the houses. Mine was the first one they burned.”
As Christian families left Barawa one by one, Juwanda stayed as long as she could, clinging to her house and land, but the attacks grew more frequent. The last straw was witnessing the abductions of women.
When she finally fled the village in May, she was so petrified that she forgot to take the only photo of her brother, her last surviving sibling. It was hidden under a mattress so the militants wouldn’t see it.
She crossed the border into Cameroon. As soon as she reached safety, she tore off her black-and-white-checked hijab, felt cool air on her throat and breathed free. She was safe.
“I was very happy,” said Juwanda, who later made her way to Abuja. “I felt the good, fresh air as if I’d come to a marvelous place I could hardly imagine.”
Juwanda is relieved to have escaped Barawa. But she remembers the things she lost: her husband, her small plot of farmland, her house, her Bible, all her clothes, a beaded cross she used to wear before she was forced to take it off. And the photograph of her brother.