Weeks after insurgents killed dozens of rice farmers in Koshobe village near Mafa Council, Maiduguri and Zabarmari have turned into a Mecca for condolence visits. Daily, dignitaries, including a presidential delegation, governors, ministers, legislators, development partners, and traditional rulers throng the state. But what has changed for the frightened rice farmers of Zabarmari?
Since October this year, there has been a spike in Boko Haram attacks in Borno State. For many inhabitants of the state, the situation is worrisome.
Farmlands are now death traps for farmers. In Damboa, Chibok, Konduga, Dikwa, Ngala, Damasak, and other places, there have been attacks on farmers that have gone unreported.
The recent massacre in Zabarmari has taken the state years back in the gains it has made against insurgency.
Zabarmari is an agrarian community, predominantly occupied by Hausa people who came from Zamfara, Sokoto, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, and Kano states to work in the community as farmhands. There are very few Kanuris and other minority tribes among them. Most of the 25,000 inhabitants of the area are into rice, pepper, onion, okra farming as well as fishing.