Wednesday, 16 July 2014

BOKO HARAM: Escaped Boy Recounts His Terrible Ordeal In Sambisa Forest

Abu was 9-years-old when he was abducted from the streets of Maiduguri, Bornu State capital. He was to stay in captivity for a year, fetching and carrying for the dreaded sect members until he was 10 and able to escape.
 10-year-old Abu finally escaped from Boko Haram captivity has recounted his ordeal in the hands of the dreaded sect.
Before his kidnap, Abu spent his days collecting alms on the streets of Maiduguri, where he was sent by his father to live under the care of a teacher and learn to recite the Koran.

His kidnappers took him to an empty house where he was drugged for a few days and later trafficked with others through a ring of adults into the hands of Boko Haram, Daily Trust reports.

Recalling what happened, Abu said they entered a a village after a very long journey and then a pick-up vehicle came with men with big guns and military jackets and they were told to get in. After another long journey, they got to the camp where he saw many other people, men, women and young boys, some younger than him and there were a lot of tents scattered all over which had people sleeping in them.

Abu was taken to Borno’s Sambisa forest where he was forced into slave labour for year.

Describing what the camp was like, he said, “Fighters practiced military drills and tactics every day. Senior members were taught how to handle weapons and shoot at targets. The most senior fighters were taught how to weld gas cylinders and how to mix chemicals with fertiliser."

He explained that every morning, he went for lectures, after which he’d pray, collect water, wash plates and go into the bush to gather firewood, adding that life in the bush with the insurgents was terrible as they were treated like slaves and always hungry. He said he saw terrible things that scared him a lot. Citing examples, he said there was a day the leader of Boko Haram ordered for 3 men to be slaughtered and their bodies were buried by boys who dug out graves. He kept thinking that one day, it would be his turn.

Fortunately for Abu, he escaped in May 2014, when Boko Haram fighters went out on a mission. He walked for a day in the forest and came to the main road where he was eventually picked up by a lorry driver and taken home to his father in Kano.

Boko Haram has become a formidable force in Borno state, wrecking havoc on a daily basis. Their hideout is the dreaded Sambisa forest which is suspected to be where the abducted Chibok girls are being kept captive.


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