New Telegraph

September 23, 2023

‘Over 20 missing Chibok girls still in Sambisa forest’

There are still more than 20 kidnapped Chibok school girls being held captive by Boko Haram terrorists in Sambisa forest, Mary Dauda and Hauwa Joseph have revealed. They were among the over 200 students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, abducted by the insurgents on April 14, 2014. Each of the rescued girls carrying a baby was rescued by the military after they fled Sambisa the forest.

The Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, North East, Major General Christopher Musa, told reporters in Maiduguri yesterday that the girls were found on June 12 and 14 in two different locations by troops. Narrating her ordeal, Dauda said when they were kidnapped and brought to Sambisa forest, they were asked to embrace Islam and that most of those that embraced Islam were released following the agreement between Federal Government and the insurgents.

She said she was able to escape after deceiving her husband that she was visiting another Chibok girl in Dutse village near Ngoshe, close to the border with Cameroon. According to her, with the help of an old man living outside the village, Dauda said she walked all night to Ngoshe where she surrendered to troops in the morning. She said: “Those of us that refused to embrace Islam were turned into domestic slaves. We were made to sweep, cook, fetch water, wash clothes and plates and performed other domestic work for the insurgents. “They later forced us to embrace Islam and married us out to their members.

I got married to the father of my about two-year-old child. “They would starve and beat you if you refused to pray.” Dauda added: “All the remaining Chibok girls have been married with children. I left more than 20 of them in Sambisa. I’m so happy I’m back.” Joseph said her husband and father-in-law were killed by the military, leaving her to fend for herself and her son.

She said: “We were abandoned, no one cared to look after us. We were not being fed.” According to her, she voluntarily escaped from the insurgents’ camp during a massive incursion by government forces in Gazuwa on June 12. She said as people were running in the same direction where the sect members are hiding women and children, she took a separate route to escape from the terrorists’ camp. Joseph added: “I slept under the tree with my child, then proceeded the next day until arriving at the road where I approached a military checkpoint. Initially, they thought I was a suicide bomber, but when I explained myself, they took me along with them.”

Meanwhile, Musa promised that the military would rescue the Chibok girls still with the terrorists. He said: “We are lucky to have been able to recover two of the Chibok girls; we are happy at least they are looking healthier. It has been more traumatic but we are happy and glad that these ones are out, we are putting in more effort to ensure that we get more of them in the general area. “Apart from rescuing the two girls with their children, we have also decimated dozens of terrorists who have been hiding in Sambisa forest, especially the Timbuktu Triangle during our fighting patrols.”

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