Baga Victory: Story of a Displaced Farmer
In a rare post found on the Nigerian Defence Headquarters website, a displaced farmer from Baga, Thomas, tells a bitter-sweet account of his Baga experience, and his joy at receiving news of the military's victory over Boko Haram in Baga.
Thomas holds that he can't blame anyone now as homecoming is in sight and this to him means more than everything. READ below:
Thomas, 34, a refugee from Baga currently resides in Waru, an outskirt community in Apo Abuja. On January 5, 2015, Thomas, a farmer, as well as other members of his small fishing community said they trekked over 5 kilometres to escape insurgents in a massive attack that had left his brother missing and his friend dead after the terrorists onslaught on the Military (MJTF) Operational Headquarters in Baga.
He has just received news from home, of the conquest by our troops over Boko Haram in the battle that led to the victory and reclaiming of Baga from the terrorists siege.
Thomas who spoke to a reporter with NewsWireNGR agency expressed his excitement at the news which he initially thought was impossible. Thomas had to confirm the news of the Troops victory from an Uncle who currently lives in Baga.
He said: “We are really happy with what has been happening over there at Baga, I called my uncle and he said the military have won.”
An excited Thomas, who expressed confidence said even though he lacks knowledge of the whereabouts of his family members, he is sure that they will all return home.
“Several of my family members, I don’t know where they are now and I cannot reach them, but I know that if they hear that Baga is safe they will try and return there.”
Narrating the Story of his displacement from Baga, Thomas said: “I was in the farm with my brother and he decided to pack some yams home. When he was gone, I started hearing gun-shots and heavy sounds like bombs, so I ran into the bush. After walking for long time I saw other people with leathers and bags in their hand and we all started heading by foot towards Maiduguri. I have not heard from my brother since then, I hope he is alright.”
Thomas had no blames for anyone as he only looks forward to being re-united with members of his family and his friends and the #VictoryForNigeria in Baga has brought a significant ray of hope after weeks of despair.
Apparently disgusted at the activities of the Boko Haram Terrorists and their promoters, he hoped that they never return to his beloved Baga again. “It is just that we don't know if this Boko Haram people will return again”. Thomas said.
The recent offensive by the Nigerian military on the Boko Haram group has two faces. On one end a promise by the National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki that the group and all its camps would be demolished in 6 weeks, and a recent upgrading of military equipment by President Jonathan's government.
And no matter the reservations of the doubting Thomases, to Mr. Thomas from Baga our troops' victory is assured and offers him a much awaited chance to go back home.