Escapee Monica Sunday Met With Chibok Girls November

Escapee Monica Sunday Met With Chibok Girls November

A 20-year-old Christian woman narrated an emotional story of her meeting 24 Chibok girls, abducted April 14, 2014, by Boko Haram militants. She assures they are alive.

Monica Sunday said she had been held together with 24 Chibok girls for 3 days last November.

Speaking with UK's Channel 4 correspondent, the woman said that the children were not harmed but were forced to cook for the militants. Monica who tried to support the girls added that they were tearful and wanted to come back home.

Monica was kidnapped from Kiva in the course of a dire Boko Haram attack. She has recently arrived to a camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) located near Abuja.

READ ALSO: I Didn’t Dance After Chibok Abduction – Jonathan Speaks On Nigeria’s Key Problems

See extracts from her speech below:

"They were very emotional.

"None of the girls really talked very much. They just cried and prayed and lamented for their parents. I comforted them and told them to have faith in God and that He would open a way for them so that their nightmare would be over.

"I would say to them, 'It's not your fault, you were just trying to get an education. Look, even if they say they want to sell you, just keep your faith in God and pray.'"

Monica herself was deeply traumatised by her own experience and lost her small baby, Abraham John.

She managed to escape 2 months after the kidnap and tell the story about the 24 Chibok girls, who according to her had remained true to their Christian faith. They wore simple head-coverings – not full hijabs – she said, but none was practising Islam.

READ ALSO: HEARTBREAKING: ‘We Cannot Rest Until We Have Justice For Your Daughters’ – Malala’s Father Writes To Chibok Parents

Monica will never forget her terrible ordeal:

"When they came into our village, I was terrified. I was actually pregnant. We ran to the mountain. I was so scared. Even now my body shakes with fear when I hear the words Boko Haram."

Regarding the children's health, Monica said:

"The girls I was with were all in their mid-teens, some a bit younger, some older. None of them was sick."

She confirmed that the abducted girls had been divided. She also said that none had been forced into marriage (as it was previously provided by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in one of the videos).

"They divided them up. Some were taken to Gwoza. Not all of them are held in one place."

After 3 days with the Chibok girls Monica was relocated to another camp where she was kept with 40 women kidnapped from across northern Nigeria.

"Among them was one particular woman who they beat until she was bleeding all over her body because she refused to convert to Islam. She eventually succumbed."

Monica refused to be converted, which provoked the insurgents' rage.

"They were really angry with me and shouted and screamed at me and called me ‘arney'” – an abusive term for "infidel" in the Hausa language.

Monica also disclosed that the Boko Haram commander in the Sambisa camp was called Ibrahim Shekau, who she described as “assistant” to Abubakar Shekau, the apparently deranged leader of the group. It is not clear whether they are relatives.

READ ALSO: Touching Story Of Two Chibok Escapees And Their Rescuers 

Regarding the conditions kidnap victims are being kept, Monica said that at least 1,000 women were held captive there and thousands of rebel soldiers.

"Most of the soldiers are out in the bush all the time, hunting others."

Soldiers, with guns and military vehicles, had access to roads, she said adding that insurgents had no problems with food and water in the camp.

"They even have grinding machines. We had rice and we had corn. No meat, but sometimes there was fish."

When asked about whether it would be possible for the Chibok girls to escape, Monica responded:

"It would be very hard."

Monica managed to escape when she was for an unknown reason driven out of the camp into the bush at night with her baby.

She found herself miles from anywhere and started walking east, towards Gwoza, 3 long days without food. Her baby died and Monica could not even bury the little Abraham.

As she reached Gwoza, she started her way to Cameroon, where she tracked down her parents.

Earlier this year she came to Abuja in the hope of meeting her husband, John, again.

Within a 2-week period Monica said she had been questioned in detail by Nigerian military:

"The military people asked me many questions about the Chibok girls. They vowed to me they would go to the Sambisa forest as soon as they possibly could."

This week Nigeria marked the sad date: 300 days without the Chibok girls. And the parents are still waiting for their rescue.


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