“I would never have married such a man but we were all forced to marry them or be killed,” she said with growing bitterness. “I lost a pregnancy for my original husband because of the condition of the place.” Haruna’s ‘original husband’ was the man she married shortly before she was captured by Boko Haram.
“It is like cutting a baby with a knife, you can imagine the pain she would feel. We endured many difficult days. They fed us with raw maize, and at some point, we spent three days without food or water,” she told SUNDAY PUNCH.
‘Boko Haram baby’
“As for this baby I carry now, it is destiny, but I don’t want to remember the past. I appreciate him because it is God that gave me the child. I love this child; I cannot do anything to change my destiny. So, I will take care of my boy child as my own,” she said.
“No, I cannot tell him that his real father is a member of Boko Haram. No, he would be disappointed and it would be a big blow to him. I will not allow that. I will prevent him from knowing. But I will love him.”
She stated, “Yes, he came and spent a week with me. He said he is still in love with me, despite all that I went through and the forced marriage. He said he was still interested in me and would wait for me. He is a good man. He said that, like every good Muslim, he believed this was his destiny, and he had to accept it, whether it was good or bad. He said the fault was not the baby’s and he promised to take care of him as his own biological child.”
“My real husband’s younger brother is part of Boko Haram,” she said, and mentioned the names of some other Boko Haram members she came to know. “I have given their names to the security agencies. He even told me that if he ever saw my husband, he would kill him.”
“Even those from the same village with me, if I know they are with Boko Haram, I would report them to the military; just like I would report him if I see him now. I want them (military) to kill him,” she added.
“When they came into our village, they started shooting at everybody and everything. We ran, but they finally caught us inside the bush. We were about 18 in number, eight of us young girls, and 10 married women. They pushed us inside a big truck and took us to Sambisa,” she said.
“We saw many women there, more than 200. Later, they threatened us that if we didn’t marry them we would all be killed. We had no choice; we did not want to die. Some girls managed to escape before me,” she said.
“I saw some of the Chibok girls in Sambisa. They captured them before us. Some of them had already been impregnated. Some of them had given birth to children. The Boko Haram members kept them in a special place in Sambisa. Boko Haram members shared and sold the girls among themselves.”
“It was the girls that said so themselves whenever they sat down (with other kidnapped women) and discussed with some of us. They confirmed it to us. Boko Haram members called Chibok girls and other girls or women they captured ‘Ganima.’” According to one of the officials at the camp, Ganima, loosely translated from the local Hausa language spoken in the North-East, means “spoils of war.”
“They gave names to different places in Sambisa, names such as Gobara, Imsa, Sabluda, Jimia, and so on. The Chibok girls were scattered everywhere.”“They have their own medical team and makeshift clinic, a room, in Sambisa, where they get treated whenever they are injured from the battle with the army. The clinic was at Gobara. I have seen so many of the insurgents get injured. I saw more than 10 ‘doctors’ there. They mostly spoke Kanuri dialect.”
“I am very happy that I have seen one of my lost daughters. Two of them were missing. Before now, I had given up, thinking that my daughters were dead. Boko Haram killed my two boys and kidnapped my daughters. I want to thank the army for rescuing my daughter alive,” she told SUNDAY PUNCH.
“I am a hunter, and part of a vigilance group. I got information that my daughter was in this camp, so we came here. If I see the man who forced my daughter into marriage, I will kill him.”