The abduction of over 200 Chibok students was the accidental result of unsuccessful theft. That’s what two of the girls said were kept in captivity for three years. The disclosure was made possible through secret journals that were obtained by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
When she remembers the night of the kidnapping in April 2014, Naomi Adamu says the extremists did not go after the girls but wanted to rob the place and carry construction machinery. Because they did not find what they were looking for, they did not know what to do with the girls. “One of them said that they should burn us, others suggested that we be taken to Sambisa (base of the extremist group). They said that Shekau, the leader, would know what to do with us, “Naomi wrote.
She was among the 82 girls released in May this year. Another 21 had already been released in October 2016. They are in a secret location in Abuja to participate in what the country’s government calls a “restoration process.” It is estimated that there are still about 113 girls in the power of Boko Haram.
Spirit of courage, love and balance
The authenticity of the diaries written by Naomi and her friend, Sarah Samuel, can not be verified or used as a negotiating weapon. However, the written pages show the horror that the girls spent while being kidnapped. More importantly, they also show the certainty that they would one day return home.
The diaries began to be written during the lessons on the Koran, for which they received a notebook. To hide them, they buried them or hid them under their clothes. “We write together. When one tired, the other continued, “says Naomi, 24, directly from the place where the government keeps the girls free.
“If they persecuted me, they will persecute you”
Life under the rule of Boko Haram included assaults, teachings on the Koran, pressure to marry extremists and convert to Islam. The girls kept their personality, as the diary shows that they used funny and humiliating nicknames for extremists. Yet cruelty was always quoted.
On one occasion, the activists gathered girls who refused to embrace Islam, brought in gallons of gas, and threatened to burn them alive. “They said, ‘You want to die. If you do not want to be Muslim, let’s burn it, ‘”a diary passage says. However, the gallons only had water and the extremists laughed at the joke.
Despite being free, Naomi worries about her great friend Sarah, who is still with the group and was forced to marry one of them. “She married because she was without food and water. Not everyone can survive in this situation. I am sad, very sad. I think about them all the time, “Naomi shares.