New details about the ordeal of the Chibok girls at the hands of Boko Haram have now emerged. A month ago, Amina Ali was the first of a group of 219 schoolgirls detained by the radical Islamist group to be rescued, prompting widespread coverage.
Yakubu Nkeki, a spokesman for the parents of the missing girls, told the BBC how Amina recounted her ordeal from the very beginning. After they were taken from the school, “they were put in one place as a large group but after a few weeks they were taken further into the Sambisa Forest,” he said.
“There, some of the [older] girls were forced to marry the militants, but at that time she was not given up for marriage because she was seen as a small girl.”
She was terrified at the thought of being forced to marry someone she did not know or love, but six months later, her worst fears came true when she was forced to marry one of the Boko Haram militants.
The man told her that he had also been abducted, from the town of Mubi, and forced to become a fighter.
Amina also told Nkeki that, although she told her captors that she had accepted their religion, inwardly she held on to her Christian faith. She knew what could happen to her if she did otherwise, as she had witnessed the gruesome killing of another girl for refusing to convert to Islam. The militants buried her waist-deep in the ground and the other captives were made to stone her to death.
She and her husband eventually decided to escape; she felt “he was not like the others and could be trusted”.
The Nigerian Army says Amina is now undergoing rehabilitation, but in May, Amina’s older brother, Noah, told Premium Times he had concerns over the whereabouts of his sister.
He said he attended her welcoming ceremony with President Buhari, then was told by officials that he would be able to see his sister and mother the following day, after Amina’s medical examination. But the brother is still waiting. So is Yakubu Nkeki, who also attended the 19 May ceremony.