For the people of Kirchinga in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State, this year's Eid-El-Kabir brought no special kind of feeling despite the excitement and fanfare that ushered in the annual Muslim feast in other parts of Nigeria. The people of this sleepy town opted for a quiet festivities for valid reasons. Four kilometres away from them is Yafa, a community under Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno State where deadly terrorist group – Boko Haram – has reigned supreme for many years. The violent Islamist sect often carries out deadly raids in villages around the region, unleashing horror and agony on individuals and households in the process.
As a result of this, many people marked this year’s Eid-El-Kabir in Kirchinga with utmost alertness, fearing the pains that could be visited on them should Boko Haram insurgents decide to visit their community.
A resident of the town, who spoke with Sahara Reporterson Monday but asked not to be named, said that the fear of Boko Haram in Kirchinga has made life hellish for many locals in the area. According to the source, the presence of the wife of one of the insurgents, who escaped from the dreaded Sambisa Forest ruled by the violent sect to live a normal life with her children, has further spread fear in the community.
“The whole community is in fear especially because of the presence of the wife and children of one of Boko Haram’s leaders who escaped from Sambisa Forest.
“But we don't believe she's real, there are concerns that they returned to provide intelligence for the terrorists.
“One of her children who is 24 years old recently joined our local vigilante group and since then there have been several attacks in this area.
“We are afraid that their presence could lead to an attack by Boko Haram insurgents in the not too distant future. Everybody is in fear.
“Yafa Village across River Yadzaram was sacked a fortnight ago, and a retired military officer was killed during the raid.
“To make things worse, you dare not say anything against Boko Haram because they'll come calling; how do they know?
“Certainly they have their informants amongst us,” the resident said.
Following several attacks on Kirchinga in the past by the terrorist group, the town has become an old shadow of itself with disgruntled faces of women whose husbands were killed by the insurgents greeting you wherever you turn to in this agrarian community.
Sadly, there's no presence of either the police or military within eight kilometres radius of Kirchinga, according to findings by Sahara Reporters. The town continues to live in the menacing shadow of one of the world’s most ruthless killer gangs – Boko Haram.