BH Abductee Claims Chibok Girls Are In Gwoza

BH Abductee Claims Chibok Girls Are In Gwoza

A 56-year-old woman who was recently released by Boko Haram said that the Chibok girls abducted in April 2014 are being held in Gwoza town in Borno State.

According to the International Center for Investigative Reporting,, Mbutu Papka was kidnapped in July, 2014 and held by the insurgents in the same location as the abducted Chibok girls. Reportedly, the abducted girls are being kept under very tight security in a house in Gwoza.

Papka said that nobody was allowed near the fenced building where the abducted girls are being held under 24-hour security. "Even the heavily armed guards who keep watch over the girls round the clock are only allowed to go into the house to deliver food, water and other supplies to them," she said.

After Boko Haram attacked Gwoza on July 4, 2014, Mbutu Papka along with others was taken to Mdita, a remote village near the notorious Sambisa Forest, bordering Askira Uba, Damboa and Gwoza. The abductees reportedly were kept in Mdita for five months before being transferred to Gwoza, where they were held for three more months till Nigerian army released them on March 15.

Though Papka has never seen the Chibok girls, she explained that people in the area pointed at the heavily guarded flat and said the girls were inside.

"Because access to the house was restricted the girls apparently did their own cooking and chores by themselves," she said

“In the camp at Gwoza, there were clear demarcations between where people were kept. The Chibok girls, other captives and Boko Haram members and their family members all had their separate areas secured, though the security in the area where the girls are kept is visibly different and much tighter,” she added.

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According to Papka, the conditions under which the captives in Gwoza were kept were fairly tolerable and far better than the first location, as there was water supply.

“When we got to Gwoza, things changed because there were facilities there and the place was 10 times better than Mdita. We had a normal life in Gwoza, except the trauma of living in captivity. Whatever we wanted to eat, they were provided. They would bring water, firewood, etc., and leave them outside,” she explained.

Speaking about living conditions at Mdita, she recalled that the place stank and maggots were everywhere because of lack of water. She also said that she met other abducted people including women and children, among whom were many under the age of seven.

Because of the terrible conditions and absence of health care facilities in the camp, many people fell sick and some died.

“There was a Redeemed Christian Church of God pastor who was killed during the attack on our village, and his wife was abducted with us. She died at Mdita due to the condition of the place and the death of her husband,” she told.

According to Papka, she and the other women were not raped or assaulted, though she could not speak for the Chibok girls because nobody was allowed to see or interact with them.

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She also said that the Boko Haram men lived with their wives and children in the Gwoza camp, but kept away from others and cooked their own meals.

On March 15, 2015, after three months in Gwoza, Papka and 10 other older women were taken from the camp, herded into a vehicle and driven to Izge, a village, from where she was taken to her own village on a motorcycle because the road is bad. Details on the ICiR.

Gwoza town was first captured by the insurgents in August last year, following a heavy gun attack by insurgents who hoisted the sect’s flag and declared it the headquarters of the group’s Caliphate.

Over 12,000 persons were displaced from the town and repeated attempts by the military to recapture it in the past have failed largely due to the hilly terrain, which provide hiding places for the terrorists from which to operate.

This is not the first time that released Boko Haram abductees have claimed to know where the Chibok girls are being held.

Emman Shehu, a founding member of the Bring Back Our Girls group, told our reporter during the week that a young girl who was released last week and an elderly woman had previously claimed that the Chibok girls were being kept in Damboa and Sambisa area.


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Khadijah Thabit (Copyeditor) Khadijah Thabit is an editor with over 3 years of experience editing and managing contents such as articles, blogs, newsletters and social leads. She has a BA in English and Literary Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Khadijah joined in September 2020 as a copyeditor and proofreader for the Human Interest, Current Affairs, Business, Sports and PR desks. As a grammar police, she develops her skills by reading novels and dictionaries. Email:

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