Mamanaye: A War Survivor Whose Husband Was Sent on No-return Journey by Soldiers in Borno. She Also Lost Her 6 Children

Wakil Abba could have been a glimmer of hope for Yagana Mamanaye, a Borno-based widow who lost her six children in traumatic succession — but the military sent him on a journey of no return.

The military had picked him among others to go and bury someone who they (military officials) killed, Mamanye said in HumAngle’s podcast, adding none of them including her husband returned home from the burial.

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Before 2016 when Boko Haram insurgents waged war against the country, the widow had lost four of her children to malaria. She would lose the remaining two to malnutrition in an IDPs camp they were seeking refuge when they war sacked her town, Komshe.

“One of my children died at the age of 5, one at 30 months and another one died at 17,” she told HumAngle. “One was 12 months old. I don’t have a husband and no children. I also lost my two brothers after we became displaced. I also lost all my belongings.”

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The children died because she had no money to take hospital and the local herbs she relied upon could not rescue them from death. Still bereaved, she was displaced by the insurgency in 2016.

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She and other residents had to escape to a community in Cameroon from where they were later deported back to Banki, a remote town in Borno.


Mamanaye recounted how her husband embarked on a no-return journey alongside four others. Afterwards, her loved ones including her remaining children, two brothers and a sister all died. She was left with a painful memory.

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“After I asked some people about my husband, they said they don’t know what happened to him. None of those who went to the burial came back. Since that day I didn’t see him again,” she said.

In Banki, Yagana and her remaining three children would survive on left overs. “We beg the military to give us their leftovers,” she recalled..

Therein, two of her remaining children got malnourished and fell sick. They both died later.

Besides her six children, Mamanaye also lost her two brothers and one sister. She said her brothers were killed by military bombings in Banki, but the sister died of hunger in the same town.

She remained with only the sixth child, a two-year-old Palmata who also died after they moved to Maiduguri.

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“She had a fever, we came to a clinic in Gwangi, and they said she needed a blood donation,” Mamanaye stated. “Somebody donated to us, but she died before the blood transfusion finished.” 

Mamanaye, a war survivor stripped of her loved ones, takes care of three — her mother and two orphaned nephews.


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