Source: The Cable (Abuja)
By Mayowa Tijani
This journey began in January 2017, at a time when the Nigerian military said it had “accidentally” bombed a civilian camp in Rann, the capital of Kala Balge LGA in north-east Nigeria. I travelled to the region to tell the story. I met hundreds of victims of the bombing, which killed more than 120 people — fathers, mothers, and children. The details of that accident were captured in a serial titled Tears from Rann.
Over the next four years, I have attempted — with little success — to tell the story of hundreds of thousands of Nigerians who cannot lay claim to their identity as Nigerians. Not because they do not want to, but simply because the state and its actors collaborate — consciously and unconsciously — with Boko Haram to make it impossible for them. They are victims of porous borders, ailing security, and weak state infrastructure for citizens’ identification. The biggest victims of this loss of statehood are those living in north-eastern Nigeria, where Boko Haram is ‘king’.
Boko Haram insurgency became a decade old in July 2019. Over 30,000 people have been killed in that period, and over three million people have been displaced. A sea of reportage has been done on Boko Haram’s impact on people living in Borno, but many pieces of the complete story are still missing.