In a two-part series published on Aljazeera, Chika Oduah speaks with three women who were captured by Boko Haram, they shared stories of their abduction, life as a captive and how they escaped from captivity.
Here is an excerpt from their stories;
Boko Haram fighters kidnapped Ishaya, who was raised in Gulak, after they invaded the town in September 2014. She took her baby and ran to the mountains with a group of people to hide. They lived in the mountains for two months, and she occasionally sneaked back into town to forage for food.
Early one morning she left her child with another woman and went down from the mountain, creeping back into her house. She grabbed a few things from her kitchen and then headed back to the foothills.
As the sun began to rise, she hurried — but she had already been spotted.
“Two Boko Haram men grabbed me. Then two others came,” Ishaya said. “They trekked with me to their leader. Then they took me to the house.”
Dorcas Aiden, who was also a captive at the house, was still waiting for her moment to flee. “The Boko Haram told us that they would break the leg of any of us who tried to escape,” she said. Aiden, a tall 20-year-old, spoke to Al Jazeera from an Anglican church in Yola where she was staying with her family.
She said the fighters once used a laptop to show her and other women at the house a picture of the nearly 300 schoolgirls they kidnapped during the infamous April 14 midnight raid at a high school in a village called Chibok. More than 200 of the schoolgirls are still missing.
Aiden said the sight of the Nigerian schoolgirls whom she has heard so much about in the media made her cry.
The shots sounded like thunder, so the children were jumping and smiling and singing, “Let the rain come, let the rain come.” But I realized it was not thunder.
Boko Haram fighters were everywhere. We saw them on the motorbikes shooting and burning houses. All night, the sound of guns shooting was in the air. They left in the morning. I was so scared, but I didn’t have anywhere else to go, so I stayed.
After the fourth attack, I decided to leave Sabon Gari because I know Boko Haram likes to kidnap girls. I went to Gulak to live with my great-aunt. Later I learned that Boko Haram attacked Sabon Gari a fifth time. Then in September, Boko Haram came to Gulak.
Aljazeera has the full interview and stories
Photo credit – Chika Oduah/Aljazeera