Chibok girls say kidnap by Boko Haram was accidental

Chibok girls say kidnap by Boko Haram was accidental

- The mass abduction of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls from Chibok is still a major topic in Nigeria

- The girls are currently in the custody of the Nigerian federal government

- A report by Reuters suggests their abduction might have been a mistake

A report by Reuters indicates that the abduction of the Chibok girls which attracted global attention was the accidental outcome of a botched robbery.

The report suggests some of the girls who spent three years in Boko Haram's captivity revealed this in their personal diaries which were kept secret and obtained by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Recalling the night of their kidnapping in April 2014, Naomi Adamu described in the diaries how Boko Haram had not come to the school in Chibok to abduct the girls, but rather to steal machinery for house building.

Chibok girls say kidnap by Boko Haram was accidental

A copy of one of the scribbled diaries. Photo credit: Reuters

Unable to find what they were looking for, the militants were unsure what to do with the girls.

“One boy said they should burn us all, and they (some of the other fighters) said: 'No, let us take them with us to Sambisa (Boko Haram's remote forest base) ... if we take them to Shekau (the group's leader), he will know what to do,” Adamu wrote.

Adamu was among 82 of the Chibok girls released by Boko Haram in May - part of a second wave after 21 of them were freed in October.

They are being held in a location in Abuja for what the Nigerian government has called a "restoration process."

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A few others have escaped or been rescued, but about 113 of the girls are believed to be still held by the Islamist group.

The authenticity of the diaries, written by Adamu and her friend Sarah Samuel, cannot be verified, nor their intended role as the government negotiates with Boko Haram for more releases.

The diaries shed light not only on the horrors the girls endured under Boko Haram, but their acts of resistance, and their staunch belief that they would one day go home.

The girls said they started documenting their ordeal a few months after the abduction, when the terrorists gave them exercise books to use during Koranic lessons.

To hide the diaries from their captors, the girls would bury the notebooks in the ground, or carry them in their underwear.

Three of the other Chibok girls also contributed to the undated chronicles, which were written mainly in passable English, with some parts scribbled in less coherent Hausa.

“We wrote it together. When one person got tired, she would give it to another person to continue,” Adamu, 24, said.

Life in the Sambisa involved regular beatings, Koranic lessons, domestic drudgery and pressure to marry and convert.

The girls' spirits remained intact, as they devised amusing and mocking nicknames for the fighters, the diaries show.

When five girls tried to escape, the militants tied them up, dug a hole in the ground, and turned to one of their classmates.

The jihadists handed her a blade and issued a chilling ultimatum: 'cut off the girls' heads, or lose your own'.

“We are begging them. We are crying. They said if next we ran away, they are going to cut off our necks,” Adamu wrote.

On another occasion, the militants gathered those girls who had refused to embrace Islam, brought out jerrycans and threatened to douse them in petrol then burn them alive.

”They said: 'You want to die. You don't want to be Muslim,(so) we are going to burn you,” read the diary entry.

As fear set in, the militants cracked into laughter - the cans contained nothing but water, the girls wrote.

READ ALSO: Army ambushes Boko Haram terrorists, 10 killed (photos)

Meanwhile, public commentator, Ibrahim Bulama, recently suggested that the resurgence of Boko Haram attacks in the North-east is tied to the 2019 elections.

Watch the Department of State Services officially handover the recently rescued 82 Chibok girls to the federal government in the video below.


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