Tuesday, 26 July 2016

How herdsmen killed my husband, four children, laments 41-yr-old woman

Joy is in serious pain and weeps uncontrollably. The pain both physical and emotional is immediate and reflective, with the latter being a flash back to what has become the darkest day in her life. Yes, it was that fateful January 13, 2013, that she lost four grown up children and her husband, Sefiani Musa. They were all gruesomely murdered by rampaging herdsmen.

Joy Musa…still in pains, needs help This is the pathetic story of 41-year-old Joy also known as Aishat, an Igala by tribe, from Kogi State who got married at the age of 15 and became a mother at age 16. Joy, a resident of Dodo Na Hawa village in Plateau State was a trader dealing on ladies shoes and bags before the ugly incident. Sound of gunshots On the fateful day, the mother of six had returned from the market. She and her family were preparing to go to bed when they heard the sound of gunshots. Naturally, they became apprehensive and made ready to flee to safety. Over the past few years attacks by suspected herdsmen in the neighbourhood had been common. They regularly raid and attack communities, particularly in Dodo Na Hawa village.

During this latest attack, Joy’s husband had dashed outside to open the gate for the family to escape. But this was not to be, as there was no escape for the family: five of them met their untimely death. The first casualty was Joy’s husband and then their set of twins, Gloria and Miracle aged 25 who were undergraduates at the time. The others were Prince 21 and Rose 18. It was indeed a tragic day for the family and the entire community as many people were killed with corpses littering everywhere! Recalling all the tragic details, Joy burst into tears, weeping uncontrollably.

She said she and her two surviving children only escaped death because they had to lie on nearby corpses of victims, pretending to be dead. But even at that their assailants still shot her on the lap and left the scene before the arrival of security operatives who rushed her to the hospital. She was still on admission when the remains of her husband and children were given a mass burial along with those of other victims. This left her with psychological, mental and physical torture, made worse by pains arising from the bullets wounds and the loss of her husband and four children. It has indeed been an agonising experience for her as she still had bullet pellets lodged within her lap and knee region which require surgeries to remove. She informed that it was her aged mother and siblings who rallied round to finance the first surgery. It was in the search for help that one of her younger siblings, Moses Patrick, decided to bring her and her surviving children to Lagos. Her coming to Lagos proved auspicious as a Samaritan by name Mr Abiodun had come to their rescue by sponsoring the second surgery to the tune of N1.2 million. In spite of the two surgeries, she is still in agony and requires another major but costly surgery. Presently, the bereaved and financially incapacitated Joy is appealing to well-meaning Nigerians, including the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, multi-nationals and philanthropists to come to her aid. ‘’I am begging for help from all well-meaning people, no matter the race, tribe or tongue. My cry is for succuor because I am in pains, with no sleep, no rest of mind; I am dying in silence. Please help me survive the pains and this agonizing moment. I have once attempted taking poison but my children averted that.,” she pleaded, amidst tears, adding: ‘’I have never begged in my life but condition has made me to do this now. Help me, help me, help me…”

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