Patience Ibrahim was one of the many girls kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists. She was pregnant when she was kidnapped. The terrorist group had killed her first husband and her mother. Patience was 19 at the time.
When she got to the camp of the terrorists, one of the Boko Haram fighters asked her to marry him but she refused, telling him she was pregnant. A very risky confession because Boko Haram has a history of killing pregnant women if they are Christian.
“She and other women, as well, testified the same thing: They saw that when Boko Haram captures a Christian and they know this woman is pregnant, what they do is they slit off the belly and take off the unborn child and kill the mother and the child. They just tear it out saying they don’t want any Christian offspring. And so she saw that happen to another woman and she knew that was going to happen if they knew she was pregnant before she came to the camp,” Andrea explained.
But this Boko Haram fighter was sympathetic and helped her escape by telling her that the compound is unguarded during the tahajjud prayer.
By the time she reunited with her husband, she found him dead — beheaded by Boko Haram. Hours later, she goes into labor and gives birth to her daughter alone in a field. She names the child “Gift.”
Patience’s story is documented in a book, A Gift From Darkness, written by Andrea Hoffmann, a German journalist and sells on Amazon. Andrea met Patience during a trip to Maiduguri.
“I met a lot of women [who had been Boko Haram captives] there and it’s heartbreaking because they have lived through awful things; they have been victims to violence and they don’t speak about it. They are survivors — and nobody asks them what they witnessed. If something terrible like that happens, you can never make it right but at least you can listen to what has happened to them, write down the injustice and give them a voice. They have these terrible stories and they are just trying to cope. So I just wanted to go underneath that glass,” Andrea said, telling why she wanted to tell Patience’s story.
The terrorists camps were said to be a wet, open area with some trees, a lot of grass and mosquitoes — but there were no houses or anything. Just plastic to protect them from the rain.
Even though Patience did not believe anyone would want to hear her story, Andrea was determined to document it because, “If it’s written down, it’s fixed. It won’t go away. It’s part of bringing justice to these women.”
Patience is now engaged to another man and her daughter, Gift, is now two years old.
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