By Ope Adedeji-
Nigerian troops have found two former schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram jihadists eight years ago, the military said Tuesday, as they found some of the last victims of the 2014 Chibok abduction.
Both women had babies on their laps, presumed to be the product of the callous militants who stormed their school in April, 2014 in northeast Nigeria in a mass kidnapping, abducting 276 pupils between the ages of 12 and 17, and putting them into trucks in an attack that sparked international outrage.
Gradually, in small stages, some of the girls have been released by the evil human beings who unlawfully took them and forced them into a marriage they did not consent to, impregnating them in the process, then releasing them at a time of their choosing.
Three weeks ago , Hauwa Joseph and her child were rescued by troops of 21 Army Armoured Brigade in Bama, Borno State, while Mary Ngoshe and a child were picked up during a patrol in Gwoza, also in Borno State.
Northern Nigeria has been a breeding ground for Islamic insurgents in the past few years, a hoard of them frequently constituting a terror to Nigerians through random unprovoked killings and kidnappings.
Major-General Christopher Musa, the military commander of troops in the region, told reporters the girls were found on June 12 and 14 respectively in two different locations by troops.
The announcement came on the same day the Nigerian military stopped a vehicle in Cross Rivers State, East Of Nigeria, filled with explosives, ammunition, guns, and military clothing.
Fifty-seven of the girls escaped by jumping from the trucks shortly after their abduction, while 80 were released in exchange for some detained Boko Haram commanders, following negotiations with the Nigerian government.
In the recent releases, one of the women, Hauwa Joseph, was found along with other civilians on June 12 around Bama, after troops dislodged a Boko Haram camp, while the other, Mary Dauda, was found later outside Ngoshe village in Gwoza district, near the border with Cameroon.
Cops of the Theatre Command, Operation Hadin Kai, have rescued two more Chibok girls in Sambisa forest.
On June 15 the military said on Twitter that they had found one of the Chibok girls named Mary Ngoshe. She turned out to be Mary Dauda.
“I was nine when we were kidnapped from our school in Chibok and I was married off not long ago and had this child,” Joseph told reporters at the military headquarters.
Joseph’s husband and father-in-law were killed in a military raid and she was left to fend for herself and her 14-month-old son.
“We were abandoned, no one cared to look after us. We were not being fed,” she said.
Thousands of Boko Haram fighters and families have been surrendering over the last year, fleeing government bombardments and infighting with the rival group Islamic State West Africa Province.
The conflict has killed more than 40,000 people since then, and the spread of the Islamic State West Africa Province has led to heightened levels of insurgencies in the country for years.
Dauda, who was 18 when she was kidnapped was married at different times to Boko Haram fighters in the group’s enclave in the Sambisa forest.
“They would starve and beat you if you refused to pray,” Dauda said , describing life under the evil claws of Boko Haram.
She decided to flee and told her husband she was visiting another Chibok girl in Dutse village near Ngoshe, close to the border with Cameroon. With the help of an old man who lived outside the village with his family, Dauda walked all night to Ngoshe where she surrendered to troops in the morning.
“All the remaining Chibok girls have been married with children. I left more than 20 of them in Sambisa, she said. “I’m so happy I’m back.”
In 2018, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters kidnapped 110 schoolgirls aged 11–19 years from Government Girls Science and Technical College (GGSTC) Dapchi in neighbouring Yobe state.
All the schoolgirls were released a month later except Leah Sharibu, the only Christian among the girls, who was held by the group for refusing to renounce her faith.
The Islamic terrorists continue to be a disgrace to a faith they claim to be peaceful.