My hands were chopped off by Fulani bandits – 70-year-old Oyo vigilante

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My name is Amodu Bakare. I am 70 years old and I work as a vigilante with the Vigilante Group of Nigeria.  I am also a farmer, I grow crops on the subsistence level.

It happened on March 13. I came home on the Friday preceding that and I was going back to where I was working when I was attacked

I was riding on a motorcycle on my way back to where I work as a vigilante when I saw two Fulani men at Oyan river. They parked their motorcycle there and I just moved on because they did not stop me or ask me for anything.

After passing the river, I saw that they started their motorcycle and started coming behind me. They were speeding and I saw that the speed was high so I gave way for them to pass but instead of overtaking me, they slowed down and started attacking me with an axe and cutlass. I hung my locally-made gun on my shoulder.  Before I could jump off the motorcycle one of my hands had already been chopped off. I saw it on the ground. It was like a dream.

The two of them continue to cut me with their cutlass and axe when they saw that I wanted to remove the gun with the other hand. They removed the gun from me and fled. The other hand was almost cut off; just a piece of flesh was suspending it from also falling off. I screamed but there was no help and nobody was coming.

The moment they snatched the gun from me, they fled.

There was nothing like a crisis between my community and the Fulani people. I never had any altercation with any of them.

I started trekking towards the nearest village and hoping to come across anybody that could help me. I became weak at a point and slept off by the roadside. I later woke up and started going until I got to a village. I went there and begged them to save my life. I told them that armed robbers attacked me on the road. Those villagers went and reported to the vigilante people in the town and those ones came and met me where I was lying down helplessly and took me to Gbedu ( Ibudo Musa). From there, they used a vehicle to bring me to the clinic at Iwere Ile.

I trekked about three kilometres before I got to the village but this hospital should be about 25 kilometres from the point where I was attacked,

My people later went back to the place and combed everywhere but they did not find the hand that was cut off.

They have rendered me useless. I cannot do anything for myself again. Somebody has to put food in my mouth. I cannot do anything for myself and you can imagine that. I cannot remove my shorts except somebody helps me.

I am a farmer and a vigilante but which of the jobs can I do without hands?  I need the government and Nigerians to help me. I was told that I will be able to do some things for myself if I can buy prostheses (artificial hands) but I can’t afford them.

I cannot do any work to raise money for that because I am spending a lot to treat myself.  I need help. I never knew I would become handicapped at this stage of my life. I have been active and going about working and feeding myself but this happened suddenly. I’m still stunned and I am praying that I will wake up from this bad dream.

I have not been given any date to be discharged from the hospital.  I have a wife and children and I cannot do anything. The situation in the country is harsh even for people who are working so how much more for somebody who will have to depend on others to do everything?

I need the artificial hand so that I won’t be totally useless for the rest of my life.

I was taken to the police station straight before I was brought to the hospital. I lost so much blood that day and it was God that made me survive the attack. I have been given six pints of blood

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