"As we stood around, wondering what to do, God sent us a helper, a Muslim man who ran toward us and shouted: 'run for your lives! You people were good to me and I decided to reciprocate. Run, I say, as fast as your legs can carry you – the Fulani herdsmen are already on their way to kill you.' I came close to see who the man was and was shocked to discover it was my school's security guard.
"So we ran. In the bush everyone was selfish; we ran as if there was a competition; we were exhausted and absolutely afraid, but we kept on running and later found ourselves in Samaru Kataf, which is almost 80 miles from where we lived. We seemed to have gotten there in a twinkle of an eye and I wondered how; it was a mystery that I can't explain.
"We went to a Catholic church where we were fed and clothed for few days. Afterward, we moved into the home of my father's cousin. My parents could no longer afford to send my siblings and me to Catholic school, so I began attending a state school.
"One early morning, May 9, 2017, my principal sent a message to my dad, telling him we should not come to school that day, that all was not well in the community. That afternoon, my dad took his bicycle to go to the marketplace; it was market day. A few hours later, I saw people screaming, shouting – some were crying – and running all over. Women ran to our house and yelled out: 'we are doomed again.'
"We heard that Fulani herdsmen had come to the marketplace and killed three Christians, and badly wounded four others. The violence had been triggered by the killing of a Fulani taxi driver by some our youth, who were taking revenge for the attack on Fanda Kaje. I began to shiver, thinking of my dad who had gone to the marketplace; my mother was shaking, as we both wondered if my father would still be alive.
"My mother held my hand and we began to run toward the marketplace. We found chaos; tomatoes, peppers, onions and other food stuffs were scattered everywhere; some shops were burned down. I was very scared; we did not know where to look for my dad. Then we heard a voice: 'if you move, I will shoot you.' We ran away along with other people; my mother carried me in her arms and ran as fast as her legs could carry her; a woman pushed her and she tripped, injuring her leg. But the pain did not stop her.