A Dapchi school girl released from captivity by Boko Haram on Wednesday, Khadija Grema, has explained how four students were trampled to death, and a fifth, Leah Sharibu, was left behind because she is a Christian and refused to deny her faith.
Her story corroborates Leah’s father’s in a radio interview, but added a scary dimension that they were told by the terrorists they would be released because they were Muslims. A large bulk of Chobok girls still being held by Boko Haram terrorists are Christians.
The Nigerian Christians Graduate Fellowship (NCGF) has called for concerted prayers for Leah to be released.
Narrated Miss Grema: “We were at the school, about to break our usual Monday voluntary fast, when the gunmen arrived. Everyone was confused and people were screaming; one of them said we should come close to him. They were shooting and everyone was confused. So we ran towards the school gate.
“When we got there, they called on one Babangida to bring vehicles. They brought the vehicles and began to drive us away. Outside Dapchi, they asked that who amongst us were fasting. And some of us that were fasting were asked to come down from the vehicle. They gave us Maltina, meat, groundnut cake and pure water.
“We had our prayers after breaking the fast. Then we continued our journey until we got to a place with a big tree, they stopped and we were asked to cook food, it was dark, so they put on lamps.
“After eating, then we continued the journey for a long time until we got to a place where there is river, we came down from the trucks and they asked us to enter some canoes that took us across the river.
“Across the river, they took us to a house in one village that I don’t know; we stayed there for sometime. The next day, they came to ask us to come out and we were taken to the river and continued the journey until we got to where a thick forest area. That was where they kept us; and they have not changed our location since then.
“They have been feeding us very well, they treated us very well. They did not beat us; they did not molest us.
“The people that took us away were all speaking Kanuri and Arabic. They didn’t tell us any meaningful reason why we were freed and returned. They just said we are Muslims and they felt it was right for them to free us so that we will not suffer….
“Five girls died while we were on the way to the bush; most of them died because they were trampled upon inside the vehicles….
“They did not molest or sexually harass us….They even said it was wrong for women and men to sit in the same place.
“They freed all of us except one girl, Leah whom they said would not go because she was a Christian.”