Bad road




The trip between Diffa and Bosso appeared more tedious due to the desert and bad road. Bikes and motorcycles served as means of transportation in the desert. Our reporter gathered that most of the operators are mechanics, who can repair their bikes once it develops fault in the desert. Weekly Trust gathered that the migration of Nigerians to Bosso took place shortly after the gruesome murder of dozens of Baga indigenes by suspected military personnel over the killing of an officer. About 2, 000 residents of Baga were said to have been relocated to Bosso when that incident happened and the influx to the place increases daily after the declaration of state of emergencies in the three states, which was followed by massive military campign to flush out insurgents. The figure of Nigerian refugees have risen to over 6, 000 Borno indigenes within the past two weeks according to a local authority in Bosso, Niger Republic, Alhaji Bako Mammadou. He said the refugees are from Tumbun-Dabino, Dankatsina, Karaka, Dogon-Marya, Malam-Fatori and Tumbun-Danjuma villages of Abadam Local Government Area of Borno State. Others according to him are from Kukawa, Melfo, Mobar and Guzamala villages also in Borno. Weekly Trust learnt that majority of the women and children refugees crossed over into Niger Republic through various feeder roads that link the affected villages with Bosso. But others especially youths were said to have migrated on motorbikes. Most of the refugees told Weekly Trust at Bosso, that they relocated to Niger Republic to save their lives and also to look for food. “We don’t have food to eat in our villages in Nigeria and do not want to be killed by either gunmen or soldiers,” a refugee said. Another refugee, Umar Grema, said most of those who fled were women and children, adding that a few youths, aged men and animals were left behind at home, adding that while some crossed over to Bosso to stay there for the rest of their lives, others went to look food to eat and return to their respective villages on daily basis. According to him, those who remained in their villages feed on only bread, groundnut and garri, supplied by youths who shuttlebetween their villages and Bosso daily due to no food in their communities. “Most of the crops planted in the affected villages have been destroyed by some Fulani cattle rearers, who took advantage of the situation to feed their animals from our farmlands,” he lamented. Grema said even if the crisis between government and the insurgents is over, the communities will experience massive food shortage and he called on government to take the necessary steps towards addressing the situation before it is too late. He also said the restriction of movement of vehicles into their communities has further worsened the food scarcity situation. “We have been shuttling between Malam- Fatori and Bosso daily. We go to our villages in the morning and return to Bosso late in the evenings. “The reason why we return to our village is to safeguard our belongings, because we cannot transport them to Bosso since there are no commercial buses plying the route,” he said. Malam Kassim Bukar, a commercial driver, told Weekly Trust that they have suspended trips to Nigeria from Bosso due to difficulties encountered with security personnel at checkpoints. “You have to stop for searches at about 30 checkpoints before you arrive Malam-Fatori and sometimes you offer bribes to security men before they allow you pass,” he alleged. He said drivers plying the route decided to concentrate only on routes within Bosso to make profits from their businesses instead of being tied down by stop and search checkpoints. Another commercial driver, Goni Ali, said there are serious food shortages at the affected villages due to the non conveyance of foodstuffs there for the past few weeks from other parts of Nigeria. “We used to go to some nearby markets in Nigeria to do our business, but since the beginning of the state of emergency we have not gone anywhere in Nigeria,” he said. Hafsatu Alhaji Dan-Fulani, a refugee, told Weekly Trust that they moved down to Bosso because they could no longer feed their kids. The mother of five said they spend N1,800 daily to feed at Bosso, while at Malam-Fatori, there is no food at all. She said her husband who stays in another place, directed her to relocate to Bosso with their kids, adding that since she relocated, he sends her money through his friend, Malam Ibrahim Musa. According to her, she rented a room at N1,000 per month at Unguwar Mahauta. “There are about 20 housewives, 50 children and 15 men staying in a house at Gidan Babani. We all sleep here; while women and children sleep inside, the men sleep outside the house. I learnt that at Gidan Ali Gangama there are about 30 housewives, 60 children and seven men squatting in a house,” she said. Ibrahim Muhammad, 20, another resident of Malam-Fatori village told Weekly Trust that they are facing serious difficulties in their village. Asked whether they are having problem with security men, he said soldiers do not threaten or molest them, adding that the indigenes are scared of them because of what happened to Baga residents. Muhammad said the soldiers only search people carrying bags, sacks or anything they suspect can be used to hide explosives or arms, adding that if you don’t carry anything they will not stop you for searches. “From my interactions with youths from other villages, the soldiers did not conduct house-to-house searches, while business activities have been suspended because people fled the areas,” he said. Some refugees told Weekly Trust that they have not received assistances from either Borno State government or the Federal Government. The refugees said they are on their own and struggle for their families but consider Bosso as heaven due to its peaceful nature and friendly people.

Fault Type




Senatorial District

Borno Central

Local Government Area


Federal Constituency

Kaga, Gubio, Magumeri


Baga residents.

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Governor Babagana Umara Zulum