Dogo Nahawa is a small community situated between Barkin-Ladi and Jos south L.G.A in Plateau state, at the boundary between Plateau state and Bauchi State, Nigeria. The early hours of March 7th, 2010 was marked with a brutal massacre of members of this community by Fulani herdsmen, now Boko Haram.
The attackers gained access into the community through the Bauchi-Plateau boundaries bearing machetes, guns and clubs, and began their attack at about 1:30am. The herdsmen started shooting sporadically to force members of the community out of their homes, only to be macheted. Many victims, especially women and children, as well as men were hacked down and maimed. The herdsmen laid siege on the community backed with senseless killings and destruction of properties, as well as domestic animals for over three hours without resistance from any law enforcement agency, due to their alleged complicity. This brutal attack was a heinous crime against humanity described as genocide.
The morning after this massacre, the entire Dogo Nahawa, alongside neighbouring villages were littered with corpses of hacked down men, women and children of the community, livestock and maimed survivors, as you can see in the video documentary.
The pictures above show Paulina Monday whose finger were cut off
Pictures show little Daniel who was butchered from head to toe
Mama Ngo Kumbo Chuwang (pictures below) whose entire family was killed, had her right hand chopped off by the herdsmen, leaving her in a pool of her own blood to die but she survived and has been one of the widows under AHF support
Very unique and sympathetic was the case of Mama Laraba Labi, an old blind woman, the herdsmen slaughtered her husband and children and abandoned her to die in frustration. She was left to live alone with no one to help her. The president of the foundation was taken to her place by the community leader who met her sitting in front of her door alone and has had nothing to eat when the president asked her if she has had something to eat, the president immediately employed one Rose Ezekiel from the community to take care of her with the sum of Fifty Thousand Naira (₦50,000) donated for her upkeep and which has been sustained.
As a result of this brutal attack, many children who lost their parents and guardians could no longer continue their education. Access to water also became a challenge as villagers were unable to walk the distance to get water from a distant stream they shared with the cattle of their attackers. Remnants of the survivors lost their sources of livelihoods, as their goods were looted, carted away with and destroyed during the attack. Most shocking and painful according to Mr. Luka Chuwang (the community youth leader) who lamented on how they were abandoned after the mass burial of their people by government, the elite, churches and some NGOs who took both videos and photographs of their plights and stories to source for funds and never returned to the community.
Shortly after the burial, AHF president who was present at the burial site, held a meeting with the remnants of the community, men, women and youth, to find out ways in which the foundation could be of assistance. In the meeting, the community leaders enumerated the need for education, as the distance from where their children access secondary education is very far, and some of their children who attended these schools were hacked down on their way to and from school. Such fate they experienced on their way to fetch water from the same stream they share with the cattle of their invaders. They also complained of the issue of idleness as a result of the destruction of their sources of livelihood during the mayhem. In response to the needs and challenges of the Dogo Nahawa people, the AHF president assured them of taking their concerns to the AHF board. After the report was made to the board by the president, the board unanimously agreed that all the issues raised should be addressed by the foundation.
The first project undertaken was cash donation to the community for the rebuilding of destroyed homes, which was received by the community heads.
The second project was the meeting between AHF president and Dogo Nahawa youths where the youths requested Tricycles to enable them start up a transport scheme in order to become self-reliant. A project when carried out will keep the youths busy and out of any form of crime.
The third project was to move the survivors, especially widows, widowers, their children, orphans and the maimed out of their community to Port Harcourt, Rivers state, for rehabilitation after their traumatic experience, and to organize skill acquisition in order to empower them to be self-reliant. This was done through the hired buses that conveyed them from Jos to AHF headquarters in Port Harcourt.
A cross section Dogo Nahawa survivors transported down by AHF to their headquarters in Port Harcourt
Pictures shows various departments of the skill acquisition program organized by AHF
After the skill acquisition training, they were conveyed back to their community emotionally strong and well equipped with the knowledge of various skills and determined to pick up their battered lives, for a successful future. They were given 150,000 naira each in three installments, to commence small scale businesses. Today, these women are owners of different businesses and doing very well in various fields, such as, poultries, piggeries, farming, tailoring, grinding machines and so on, and are building houses for themselves and taking care of their children.
Pictures above show some of the survivors receiving financial empowerment from AHF president
after their return from Port Harcourt
after their return from Port Harcourt
On return from AHF skill acquisition training in Port Harcourt, they immediately went into action as they all are now doing one form of business or the other ranging from trading, poultry, farming, tailoring, piggery, farm products processing, etc.
Pictures above show some of the benefitting widows showing AHF president what they were able to achieve with the fund given to them by AHF
The foundation awarded scholarship to children in various schools they were, as there was no secondary school in Dogo Nahawa community who lost their parents in the massacre, from primary to university level. In addition, AHF built the first secondary school, in memory of the 354 persons that were killed, named Arm of Hope Memorial Grammar School. The secondary school is a six classroom block equipped with modern furniture’s and facilities.
Side view of Arm of Hope Memorial Grammar School
Front view of Arm of Hope Memorial grammar School
Commissioning of Arm of Hope Memorial Grammar School
Classes in AHMGS
The commissioning of the school was one of the most joyous days of the community, as can be viewed in the documentary. Men, women and children danced in jubilation and celebration of a day that restored joy and hope to their lives and community.
However, while we appreciate and celebrate the completion of the secondary school by AHF, the only primary school available in the community, owned by Coccin church, is in a very deplorable and unacceptable state, as children sit on molded blocks, in the heat to learn from unqualified teachers which is their only option, as you can see below.