Woman narrates how she watched over 7 relatives, including mother, children burn to death by bandits

December 10, 2021
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A 30-year-old widow has narrated her ordeal in the bandit attack that took over 20 lives in Sokoto last Monday.

According to her, she watched her mother, four children and other relatives burn to death.

Shafa’atu was travelling to Kaduna with her children, mother, immediate younger brother, a niece and nephew, when they came under attack by bandits along Sabon Birni-Isa road.

Shafa’atu, injured in the attack, spoke to journalists in spite of her condition.

There were 33 elderly persons and many children in the vehicle when it was attacked by armed men believed to be followers of Bello Turji, a notorious bandits’ kingpin terrorising the eastern part of Sokoto.

“They kept firing at our vehicle until it somersaulted three times and burst into flames. Only me and one other passenger miraculously came out of the bus but the other passenger later died from gunshot injuries,” she said.

“I lost my four children, three girls who were grown up and my 10-month-old baby. I watched them, including my mother, maternal uncle, nephew and niece burning to ashes while the attackers were watching with delight.”

As it happened, Shafa’atu and her relatives were deserting the area over incessant attacks by bandits when the incident occurred.

“Their remains were brought in two ambulances, we could not differentiate them because they were burnt to ashes. We performed all the funeral rites and buried them according to our religion,” he said.

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