Buni Yadi #29: A Memorial/Tribute -By Edith C. Yassin

Filed under: National Issues |
Members of the Bring Back Our Girls Group, Parents and Religious leaders, commemorating 2 years since 29 Buni Yadi schoolboys were killed by Boko Haram.

Members of the Bring Back Our Girls Group, Parents and Religious leaders, commemorating 2 years since 29 Buni Yadi schoolboys were killed by Boko Haram.

Good evening everyone, it is with a heavy heart that I present this tribute to a group of young Nigerians that were massacred exactly two years ago today. Let us recall that on the 6th of July 2013, gunmen, whom we now know as Boko Haram, attacked a government boarding school in Mamudo village, just about 5 kilometres away from Potiskum. In that attack some accounts say as many as 42 people were killed, most of them students. Subsequent to the attack, Governor Ibrahim Geidam immediately shutdown all secondary schools until September of that year.

So, the horror of the Buni Yadi killings was not a first in Yobe state but it was a breaking point for me. Why we always move on without closure and solutions is a very worrying phenomenon of our Nation. Today, we mourn our Buni Yadi sons because the pain is still raw, we cannot move on because the killings have have not stopped. When will the killings stop?

In remembering ours sons, I want to once again point out how ludicrous we have become at throwing out numbers when our citizens are killed. My stance is that one citizen of Nigeria senseless killed by terrorists is a cause for sorrow. We should know his/her name so as to properly mourn and draw lessons. That is how we show that we are human. Why do we have leaders who want to give out numbers and move on?

This tribute is for we the living as well. There are a few of us who after the Buni Yadi tragedy, were trying to come to terms with the depth to which our country had fallen, then, our Chibok school girls were abducted. To tell you the truth, I was a broken person after Buni Yadi, when the abductions happened, I simply could not handle my emotions until the march of April 30 2014. Many members of the #BringBackOurGirls movement share these sentiments.

To the parents of our sons, I truly cannot say anything. We have grieved with you in silence. In this circumstance, the magnitude of this tragedy to your families is beyond words. However, I have no doubt in my mind that God’s special comfort is ever present with you all. Might I add that our Buni Yadi sons, gone too soon and so gruesomely, have tasted of a path that we are all eventually going to follow. For, in the nearly two years of our advocacy, we as a group have also lost Senator Ahmed Zanna, Hajia Bilkisu Yusuf and Elvis Iyorngurum.

Our sons who died in Buni Yadi two years ago, have not died in vain. That we who are alive are here today to remember them is just a small testimony to that truth. We will not forget our sons. In remembering them, we must also remember that conservatively, over 20,000 Nigerians have died in this war. 2.3 Million are displaced and according to UNICEF, an estimated 300,000 children of between 0 to 5 years are likely to die of hunger/malnutrition in the North East, this year. What are we going to do about it? We may want to despair but God says to us “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me?”

Let us rise in honour of our sons who died in Buni Yadi two years ago.