Since the gruesome murder of her son by suspected Fulani herdsmen, Mrs. Asabe Ishaku, 54, a poor Nigerian widow says she has lost reason to live.
Her son, Zakka Ishaku was reportedly killed on October 23, 2019 while working in his farm in Makale village, near Plateau State University, Bokkos.
When it happened, the mother of two attempted suicide twice.
“Twice I was stopped from jumping into a well.
“I felt it was better to drown and follow my son than live this life.
“The pain was unbearable and it still is,” she said in an interview.
Zakka was her youngest and closest son. All others had left home in search of jobs in the city, it was learnt.
Eyewitnesses say his killers, a gang of ten men armed with clubs and swords mobbed him when he attempted to stop a straying herd of cattle from grazing on his growing crops.
One eyewitness, Mr. Mwanti Ishaku, a half brother of the deceased who was also injured during the attack said, “The boy looking after the herd first pulled out a knife to stab me when we tried to chase the cattle from the crop farms.
“We disarmed and cautioned him and even handed him back the knife but soon after, others who were grazing on harvested corn stocks in nearby farms rushed in and began to brutally assault us.
“I was hit on the spinal cord with a heavy stick and I fainted. By the time I regained consciousness, I saw my brother in a pull of blood and the attackers, our Fulani neighbors had fled.
“His skull was broken and he was lying unconscious on the ground.”
Zakka was rushed to a local clinic from where he was referred to a cottage hospital in Bokkos, and later to Bingham University Teaching Hospital in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.
He however died in less than 24hrs from excess bleeding, MK gathers.
All 10 suspects have been arrested and are currently being interrogated at the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department of the Plateau State Police Command.
That however has not guaranteed security for the predominantly peasant farmers in the affected village.
Indiscriminate grazing, farm destructions, intimidation and attacks by herdsmen have persisted in Plateau villages despite government’s claims of restoring peace.
Zakka was attacked a day before another farmer, Joshua Mafulul was shot in Sangwak village located 15kms away from Makale village.
Mafulul was shot by a herder he reportedly cautioned three days earlier from grazing on his farm crops.
Three women had in September been killed in nearby Riyom Local Government Area while harvesting tomatoes.
More threats have been reported in different villages leading to an obvious decline in public participation in agriculture.
This has partly “acute food insecurity” for over 4 million Nigerians according to a recent UN report.
Local authorities however claim there was no food or social insecurity in the country.