Friday, 18 August 2017

Our kidnap by Boko Haram was as a result of a botched robbery – Released Chibok girls say in recently discovered secret diary

A dairy kept by some of the 276 Chibok Girls kidnapped by Islamic sect Boko Haram during the time of their captivity has surfaced.

The diaries was was released by one of the released girls to Thomson Reuters Foundation.

In the diary, some of the Chibok girls said the kidnapping was accidental.

The girls were abducted from their hostel at the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State by Boko Haram fighters on April 14, 2014.

Some of them were able to escape when the vehicle they were being conveyed in developed a fault.

Since then, a number of the girls have either been released or escaped from their captors.

One of such girls, Naomi Adamu said;  The insurgents had come to steal machinery for house building but they were unable to find what they came for.

“One boy said they should burn us all, and they (some of the other fighters) said, ‘No, let us take them with us to Sambisa (Boko Haram’s remote forest base) … if we take them to Shekau (the group’s leader), he will know what to do,’” Naomi wrote.

The insurgents had handed them writing materials – notebooks and pens – to use for Koran lessons, but one of them decided to keep a diary instead.

They kept the book away from their captors and took turns to write their experiences.

A few pages of the dairy kept by the Chibok Girls Photo by Reuters
Five girls are said to have contributed to the diary, written mainly in English, and sometimes in Hausa.

“We wrote it together. When one person got tired, she would give it to another person to continue,” Naomi said.

They received regular beatings, Koranic lessons and marriage pressure as well threats to convert.
The girls were also threatened with decapitation.

They developed amusing nicknames for the fighters.

When five girls tried to escape, the militants tied them up, dug a hole in the ground. They asked one of the girls to behead them or get killed.

“We are begging them. We are crying. They said if next we ran away, they are going to cut off our necks,” Naomi wrote.

The diary read: “They said: ‘You want to die. You don’t want to be Muslim, we are going to burn you.”

The insurgents threatened to burn those who have refused to convert. It was later revealed that what they had was a gallon of water instead of petrol.

Some of those who escaped were returned to the insurgents by owners of shops where they slept. 

The diary read: “The girls said: ‘We are those that Boko Haram kidnapped from in Chibok.’ One of the people said: ‘Are these not Shekau’s children?'”

A particularly chilling entry describes the fear the sect has instilled in the hearts of Nigerians in the North-east.

It describes the escape of few Chibok girls, who ended up in a shop where they asked the owners for help, as well as food and water.

The shop owners had allowed the girls stay overnight, but the following morning the girls were returned to the Boko Haram base.

A girl said though she’s happy for her freedom, she still worries over one of the co-authors of the diary who is still in captivity, having married a Boko Haram insurgent.

She said: “She got married because of no food, no water. Not everbody can survive that kind of thing. I feel pained … so pained. I’m still thinking about her.”

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