Nigeria: Seven years after major attack, Mubi residents share stories of recovery

  • Sinasi Pius, Librarian at the Adamawa State University
    Sinasi Pius, Librarian at the Adamawa State University
    “That evening in October 2014 when those armed men invaded our community in Mubi still rings fresh in my head. In our thousands, we fled and trekked more than thirty kilometers to Cameroon. We returned in May 2015 and found the remains of our ruined homes and began to pick the pieces of our lives. We’ve been rebuilding since and Mubi is now doing better”.
    ICRC/Sodiq Alabi
  • Suzana, Mubi
    Suzana, Mubi
    “Things are better in Mubi today, at least compared to 2014 during the attack. There is relative improvement in the area of security and we now have access to better health care facilities especially those supported by the Red Cross. I am just happy that I am no longer a refugee (in Cameroon) and I have returned to my ancestral home."
    ICRC/Sodiq Alabi
  • Aisha, food seller in Wurolade, Maiha.
    Aisha, food seller in Wurolade, Maiha.
    “When I heard the first explosion in 2014, I left all my pots of soup and stew and ran into Cameroon barefooted, not even knowing where my relatives were. It was a situation of “all man for himself”. Seven years down the line, I have even more pots than I lost in 2014, and my food business is picking up gradually. I am just grateful to be alive”.
    ICRC/Sodiq Alabi
  • Mallam Bello, petty trader in Wurolade
    Mallam Bello, petty trader in Wurolade
    Before the 2014 attack, Mallam Bello said he was living comfortably in Mubi, with his own house, warehouses and cars. "Unfortunately, I lost everything on October 29th, 2014," he said. Three days later, he lost his first wife of 15 years to a heart attack. He had to relocate to Wurolade with his children to start farming because "I felt it may be my saving grace in my journey to recovery.”
    ICRC/Sodiq Alabi
  • Murtala, a perfume seller in Mubi
    Murtala, a perfume seller in Mubi
    “Seven years down the line, I can only say I am grateful and thankful that I survived the October 2014 attack. Though the cost of living is high today, I am still grateful to have survived 2014”.
    ICRC/Mike Okaba
  • Walking through Mubi City Center exposes one to the vibrancy of this commercial town that’s home to people from across Nigeria.
    ICRC/Sodiq Alabi
  • City Centre, Mubi.
    ICRC/Mike Okaba
  • Some of the buildings damaged during the 2014 attack still stand, perhaps as a testament to the hard time the city has faced.
    ICRC/Mike Okaba
  • Cattle Market, Mubi
    Cattle Market, Mubi
    Disrupted by the conflict, the Mubi cattle Market, acclaimed to be one of the biggest in West Africa, is on a steady path to recovery.
    ICRC/Mike Okaba
  • ICRC in Mubi
    ICRC in Mubi
    We have maintained an office in Mubi since 2016 from where we provide assistance to victims of armed conflict in the area. This includes distribution of food aid, farming input including seeds (as shown in the photo here), provision of water and shelter to vulnerable communities, support for health facilities including a stabilization center for treating malnutrition in children.
    ICRC/Mike Okaba
14 January 2022

Mubi is a major town in North-East of Nigeria, a region that has been at the centre of an armed conflict since 2009. Nestled at the north of Adamawa State and just 35 kilometers from the borders with Cameroon, Mubi is home to around 400,000 people, according to 2016 data from Nigeria's National Bureau of Statistics.

Seven years ago, in October 2014, the city was attacked, and its population had to seek refuge outside of the city. This continued until the end of the year. The major commercial town became a shell of its old self while its residents took refuge in IDP camps or with relatives in Nigeria and some in Cameroon. It would take nearly a year before relative peace would return, along with the people who had to mourn their losses and rebuild their lives from the ruins the attack had wrecked.

Throughout this period, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Nigerian Red Cross Society were on the ground to provide emergency aid to the population affected by the attacks. While Mubi has continued to recover from the 2014 attack, the ICRC office here coordinates our various activities in the communities near Mubi that remain affected by the consequences of the armed conflict.

This photo gallery shares stories of recovery from residents of Mubi and Wurolade, a community near Mubi and home to many who fled Mubi and other places.