At 1:45am on Friday 22 April 2011, Amina Yakubu woke up hearing gunshots. She soon realised the village was under attack by Muslim militants. Amina was staying with her friend Charity and her children while Charity was recovering from an illness. The house was surrounded by a high wall so the women herded the children to the back fence and helped them climb over.
“I was six months pregnant then, going to seven, and my stomach was big,” Amina said. “There was no way I could climb the fence and my friend was also sick. The fence was very high. I turned back to try and get to the room when a bullet got me in my leg.”
The militants were attempting to force their way into the compound by breaking down the front gate, so Charity dragged Amina inside one of the rooms of the house and locked the door, then she found a hiding place for herself.
When the militants entered the house they saw the trail of blood from Amina’s leg and kicked down the door of the room where she was hiding. Unable to flee, Amina raised her hands to defend herself as the men attacked her with their machetes.
Amina cried out, “Oh my God. I am finished today. Oh God, forgive me!” The militants left Amina to die and continued their rampage through the village.
Charity returned to find Amina lying in a pool of her own blood. Charity quickly called some of the men in the village to find a way to get Amina to a hospital, but all the motorbikes in the village had been destroyed in the attack. They found a Nigerian army patrol who agreed to take Amina to the hospital in their vehicle.
Amina received treatment for her injuries, but because she lost so much blood she miscarried her baby girl. During Amina’s four months in hospital, Voice of the Martyrs assisted with Amina’s recovery and provided much-needed funds for medical expenses through the VOMedical program.
“I am grateful for what VOMedical has done for me,” Amina said. “… I don’t think I would have ever been able to get such money to treat myself. But some people out there took out of their pocket to foot my bill, medicine, transport to hospital, and even feeding … I thank God for VOM and [pray] that God may reward them.”
The attack left Amina unable to walk properly and consequently she is without a livelihood to help her husband support the family. Her home and possessions were completely destroyed in a fire started by the militants.
In the midst of her grief and suffering, God has strengthened her faith. “Every day I ask Him that in all of this suffering that I am passing through that He will give me courage – that nothing will tempt me to turn back from Him.”
Although it was very difficult, Amina has forgiven the men who attacked her. “I don’t have any bad intention against them. Our prayer is that they should understand that what they are doing is not good [and] that they will be saved … I have forgiven them.”
Amina and her family want the world to take notice of what is happening in her country. “We want the world to know that Christians in northern Nigeria are passing through persecution,” Amina said. “They go and pick weapons and they hunt us in the night to take our lives, and they do all this things because of the name of Jesus. If we agree to become Muslims they will let us be, but because they see that we refuse, they keep on hunting us.”