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Viviana Lucky

Meet Viviana Lucky. She is an internally displaced person from Ungwan Barde in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Viviana and her husband were home on the night of February 10th, when they heard screaming from surrounding houses and ran out of their own room. Her son, 5 year old Friday, was already asleep with his grandmother in another room in the compound. She wanted to go get them but her husband advised that she should leave them and not go the room they were, hoping they would go unnoticed.

They came face to face with their attackers just as they opened the door and the husband took off running but Viviana was too slow for them. 2 of the Herdsmen held her down while they argued to kill her or not. One said they shouldn’t kill her but go after the husband instead, so she was held down while the others chased her husband. They didn’t get him, so they came back and decided to kill her. They used a machete to cut her head in 2 places, cut the top of her mouth and then severed 2 fingers from her left hand. The middle finger was cut too, but it didn’t completely come off. They left her for dead and moved to their next victim. She was later carried by her husband to a safer place where her own family were alerted to come and she was taken to Nursing Home hospital in Kaduna.


Viviana stayed about a month in the hospital before being discharged with a sling around her neck as her hand had not yet healed. She left Kaduna on a Saturday and spent the night with her son and mother-in-law at Mararaban Kajuru, who both miraculously survived on the night of the attack, as they went unnoticed in their room. She and her husband decided to leave their son with his grandmother there and go back to their home in Ungwan Barde to assess the damage before their son and grandmother join them. On getting home on Sunday morning, just as other people were getting ready to go to Church, Viviana hadn’t even settled in when the Herdsmen struck. Again. She and her husband took off running, again, in different directions and met the following day at Mararaban Kajuru. Viviana ran and ran in the bush, with her body not fully recovered from the first attack and with a sling over her neck to keep her injured hand in place. She said the memories of what she had endured the first time, and remembering how they were arguing whether to kill her or not while she was right there, made her run with all the energy she could muster. She thanks God for allowing her to be able to run to safety, even though the Herdsmen were chasing them like animals, shooting. Whoever got hit, they would descend on the person and cut the person with a machete.

Viviana and her husband are predominantly farmers, so since the attacks they have not been able to get sustainable income and barely get by. Their son, Friday, who is 5 years old was in primary one, but since the attacks he has been out of school.

We are telling the stories of Viviana and thousands of other Adara IDPs so the world will know what really happened in Kajuru and also to help these families get back on their feet. Viviana was able to get good medical care so she is healing nicely, but the trauma still haunts her. We need to get her to see a trauma specialist to help her through her nightmares. Viviana also needs help to start a business as she can no longer farm. Her husband works ‘here and there’ on construction sites or people’s farms. On days he can get a job, he gets about 700 Naira (seven hundred Naira) on a good day. This family were living their lives, trying to survive, and their lives were disrupted in a blink of an eye, with no fault of theirs, in their home.