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IDP Diaries: ‘We’d Rather Suffer Here Than Go Home To Boko Haram’

30-year-old Jarawa Sangaya has three children who receive two cups of food monthly as aid. She narrates her experience of narrowly escaping death, moving to a new camp and not wanting to return home due to fear of terrorists.

We get two cups of food per child. We are hungry but we will not go back home because there is still Boko Haram there. What I see is that if there is no Boko Haram, we go back home. Since there is Boko Haram we have no choice but to stay here and suffer.

I am 30 years old and I have three children. I only came here because of Boko Haram. We were living in peace, doing our farming activities, harvesting and bringing it home to eat with our children. Then Boko Haram came and took over the town. 

About 20 to 30 people died. The soldiers killed some of them because Boko Haram was not there when they went there.  They also brought some people alive to Rann.

Then we went to stay at Rann. The food they brought was too small for us and our children. If you choose to farm, you stay there to survive. If you don’t, you come here. So I came to Maiduguri after 40 days.

I came here alone. My ex-husband and I separated even before I came here. I remarried when I got here.

We later found some men that were missing. At first, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was giving us food here. For every child; one measure, and so on, depending on the number of children one has. Later they reduced it to half measure and now to two cups per child.

To feed now, we go to the bush to gather firewood when it is safe. Sometimes, we get food from our neighbours and if we don’t get it, we sleep like that. We want to go back home but we can’t if Boko Haram is still there.


(Additional reporting by Fatima Bukar and Yakura Kumshe) 

Note: IDP Diaries is a first-person account by the subject themselves. The account has been translated for reading by HumAngle.


This is a multiple-part series; click here to read other IDP Diaries.


This report is a partnership between HumAngle Media and Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) under the ‘Accountability Journalism & Investigative Reporting for Deepening Democracy and Development’ project.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means without proper attribution to HumAngle, generally including the author's name, a link to the publication and a line of acknowledgement.

Anita Eboigbe

Anita Eboigbe is a journalist and data analyst with nearly a decade of media and communications experience in Nigeria. She has expertise in human interest reporting, data reporting, interactive content development and media business management. Anita has written for several national and international publications with a focus on communication for development. She holds an honours degree in Mass Communication and several certifications in data analysis and data journalism.

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