Every Night I Cry Myself to Sleep – Yobe School Massacre Survivor

Every Night I Cry Myself to Sleep – Yobe School Massacre Survivor

Every Night I Cry Myself to Sleep – Yobe School Massacre Survivor
Gripping his shaking hands, the local, Malam Ahmad showed the newsmen the mangled iron beds and blown out walls of Mamudo district school in Yobe state, where dozens of students were massacred in July by last month in northeastern Nigeria.

The local residents are still in shock of the horrible assault, Mr. Ahmad said while showing the deserted school to the reporters. He used to be an English teacher there for 13 years, since the first day of its establishment.

Suspected members of Islamist extremist group Boko Haram stormed the secondary school in the farming village of Mamudo on July 6 in the middle of the night, opening fire and throwing explosives inside hostels.

By the time the raid was finished, 41 students and one teacher were dead in yet another attack blamed on the insurgents being pursued by a military offensive.

The massacre has however instilled deep fear and led to the temporary closure of all schools in Yobe state, where Mamudo is located, to review security.

One student, 17-year-old Bello Sani, said “every night I cry myself to sleep” since the attack. On the night the insurgents arrived, he was sleeping in a classroom that the students transform into a hostel in the evenings. The awful sound explosions and gunfire had woken the students up said Sani. At the same time they had started seeing their mates, escaping in various directions, running into the bush. Sani and his friends also had rushed out of the class and joined that group.

They had been running until they were deep inside their hideout. Sani told they had stayed there until the following day and had been eventually found by soldiers.

Another teacher who gave his name as Lawan said students had been asking when the school would reopen. “It is heart-warming and it boosts our morale as teachers never give in to terror,” he said.

In late June, Yobe state deputy governor Abubakar Aliyu said Boko Haram had burnt 209 schools in the state since November 2011.

The Mamudo incident along with two other deadly school attacks in the region in recent weeks seemed to signal a new phase in the insurgency as soldiers pursue the extremists.

 “We know that terrorists want to put us several years back. They will not achieve their objective,” Abdullahi Bego, spokesman for the Yobe state governor, told to the press.

Boko Haram’s insurgency has left some 3,600 people dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces. The military launched a sweeping military offensive in May aimed at ending the conflict. 

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