I don't know whether my internet connection will be working tomorrow, so I have decided to take this opportunity to let you know the situation at Zamani Farms.
First of all, thanks to all of you who tried to help me rescue some of our staff and others in Kuru Jenta. I want to state that I have not yet been able to go to the farm to see for myself what is the situation, but have been in touch with some individuals by phone. According to reports, all of the Muslim houses in Kuru were burnt, and most of the Muslims were killed. Only a few are still alive. Although the person I spoke with (one of our farm staff) was naturally upset and a bit confused, he told me that he believed that except for himself, the other Muslim members of staff of the farm were all killed, along with many other inhabitants of the village.He along with his wife and children were injured but managed to escape, and at that point (this evening) he was attempting to walk through the bush to get to the Police Staff College, which he felt was the nearest place of refuge where they could be safe.
At Kuru, there was not a fight between groups, as had been the case in Jos. Muslim inhabitants were rounded up and shot or burnt in their houses. As I said, I have yet to see for myself, but I received the same report from both Muslim and Christian staff and have no reason to doubt its veracity. Only that I am not sure of the details of the exact number killed
I don't yet know whether any damage was inflicted on the farm itself, or the condition of the crops. As soon as the 24 hour curfew in Jos is lifted, I will attempt to go to the farm.
Meanwhile, at this point, I really cannot say when we will be able to resume deliveries to Abuja. The farm cannot operate without staff, and the crops need watering daily. I don't know how many of our over 25 staff have been killed, and how many have run away. But we will certainly not have an adequate work force for the time being. As for myself, I cannot see myself living and working in a community where injustices like this can be perpetrated without culprits being brought to book, as has usually been the case in the past. So in the near future we will have to take a decision about either relocating the farm or closing it down altogether. Right now I am too upset to be able to deal with this issue rationally, and we will have to give it some careful thought.
We will try if possible to resume supplies to Abuja as soon as we can, as our crops need picking, and we do need the income for all of the expenses we will undoubtedly incur in the process of sorting things out.
After I have gone to the farm, I will let you know the situation. We are unlikely to be able to deliver anything this Friday, although I can't rule this out completely.
Another issue is that there have been attacks on passengers along the Jos-Abuja road around Riyom and other villages near the entry point to Jos, as well as in Bukuru, a town just before Jos. So we cannot send Audu and Ado on the road until we can be assured of their safety.
So the situation is still uncertain in so many ways. We will keep you informed of any decisions we make.
Meanwhile, please accept our sincere thanks for all of your efforts and your moral support. It is very much appreciated.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Forwarded email from Norma of Zamani Farms.