Survivors’ Stories: Documenting the human cost of Boko Haram


A Nigerian army photograph supplied this week of some of the 338 people rescued after being held by Boko Haram. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
Ibrahim fled his home in Gwoza, northeast Nigeria, in August last year, when invading Boko Haram fighters took over the town as part of the Islamist group’s self-declared caliphate.
The businessman lost his home, cars, money and his brother, who was shot dead as they fled the carnage, spending 14 days on the road and barely eating.
He now lives with his two wives and 13 children in a camp for displaced people 130 kilometres (80 miles) away in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.
The family relies on handouts for food and his children cannot go to school because they can’t afford the fees.
With more than 2.5 million people displaced by the violence in Nigeria’s northeast since the start of the Boko Haram insurgency in 2009, Ibrahim’s story is just one of many testimonies by survivors of the militants’ macabre attacks.
Such stories are often lost in reports of relentless bombings, deaths and military offensives.
But now, civil society activist Saratu Abiola is trying to change that through an online resource, to raise awareness across the world of the devastating human effects of the conflict.
People look at a poster in Maiduguri on October 28, 2015 displaying one hundred Boko Haram suspects declared wanted by the Nigerian army
– Myth-busting –
The accounts of mass killings, rape, abductions, arson and looting on Abiola’s Testimonial Archive Project (TAP) don’t make easy reading.
But she said it was vital to record people’s stories of a conflict that, despite an estimated 17,000 deaths, still fails to grab headlines at home and abroad.
“This is a small nation-building project,” Abiola told AFP by phone from Nigeria’s financial hub, Lagos, some 1,000 kilometres from the epicentre of the violence.
“It is intended to spark …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper