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General News of Thursday, 23 June 2022

Source: www.mynigeria.com

How we escaped from Boko Haram after eight years as insurgents' wives - Chibok schoolgirls

Chibok schoolgirls Chibok schoolgirls

Two Chibok schoolgirls have narrated how they escaped from Boko Haram captivity after eight years of been the insurgents' wives.

On April 14, 2014, 276 students were abducted from the dormitory of the Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), in Chibok, Borno State.

Mary Dauda and Hauwa Joseph who were part of the 276 students abducted were married off to members of top commanders of the insurgents.

Recounting their ordeal after they were rescued by the military in Maiduguri, they explained how they fled the camp, risked their lives through the forest in other to escape the terrorists.

They noted that after their abduction, the schoolgirls were shared out into camps where they became spouses of terrorists.

Mary, who was taken at 18-years-old, is now 26-years-old and mother of one, while Hauwa is now 24.

According to them, more than 20 of their schoolmates are still in Gazuwa camp in Sambisa Forest.

Gazuwa camp is the acclaimed headquarters of the Boko Haram faction, formerly known as Gabchari, Mantari and Mallum Masari, located about nine kilometres to Bama Local Government Area of Borno.

Mary who was speaking to the press at the Command and Control Centre, Maimalari Cantonment, in Maiduguri, said she remembers her compulsory marriage to an insurgent eight years ago.

She noted that before she found help from the troops, she had walked through the deadly forest for many days.

She hinted that she was warned by the terrorists that she would be hunted down and killed if she fled.

In a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mary said: “I took excuse from Malam Ahmed, that I will be visiting my relative from Chibok in Ngoshe town and he allowed me to go for one week. That was when I began my journey for freedom.

“I left Sabil Huda, popularly known as the camp of Abubakar Shekau and preceded towards Njimiya and Parisu, where I met some of the Mujahedeens. They asked where I was going and I told them I was given permission to visit my sister in Ngoshe.

“I finally arrived at Gava Village in Gwoza, after walking for many hours through the deadly forest under hardship and poor condition. I asked some people to direct me to the home of ‘Daughter of Chibok’.

"After meeting her, I told her of my plans to return home, she told me she had wanted to come with me but her husband had placed her under strict surveillance for attempting to run away in the past. I then left her and proceeded toward Ngoshe town.

"On my way, I met an old man who promised to help me to escape. But he told me that it won’t be possible in the afternoon until the sun had set. At about 8pm, he took me to Ngoshe and told me to pass the night in the outskirt of the town and I proceed in the next morning.

“When the day broke, I took myself to some soldiers where I was rescued with my baby.”

Narrating her account, Hauwa said she was force into marrying Amir Abbah, Commander of Boko Haram (Munzul), at Gazuwa camp who was later killed during an encounter with the troops of the Nigerian Army.

She said on June 12, she escaped from the camp of the terrorists during a massive attack by the troops of the Nigerian army into their camp in Gazuwa.

Hauwa explained that as people were running in the same direction where the sect members were hiding women and children, she took a different route to escape from the terrorists camp.

She said she had to trick some of the insurgents who met her on the way and asked to know where she was going.

According to her, she told them she was following some women to hide in the nearby forest.

“I slept under the tree with my child. I then proceeded the next day until I arrived at the road where I approached a military check point. Initially, they thought I was a suicide bomber, but when I explained myself, they took me along with them,” she said.

Hauwa thanked the military for rescuing her, and hoped other girls still in the camps of the terrorists would be rescued.

Confirming the identity of the girls, the Theatre Commander, Operation Hadin Kai (Northeast Joint Operation) Maj.-Gen. Christopher Musa, said that the girls were among the list of the missing Chibok schoolgirls.

He stated that the rescue was successful because of the heavy military operation present in Sambisa Forest, Mandara Mountain, and Lake Chad.

"We are putting more efforts to ensure that the rest of the girls are rescued through the ongoing Operation Lake and Desert Sanity,” the Theatre Commander said.

Adding that the girls were rescued on June 12 and 14 and are currently undergoing medical care.

BS

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