Amina who is now 20, told The Mirror that the memory of her tiny baby’s body lying lifeless in the dust at the base of a tree in Sambisa Forest tortured her intermittently having been held captive for five years by the insurgents.
“I couldn’t hold down the tears as I saw my child lifeless and about to be abandoned,”Amina, who explained, recalling with nostalgia that she was snatched away from her parents at the age of 15.
But with her baby just 28 days old and very sick, it was too late for him to survive the harsh environment in Sambisa forest as he took his final breath in his mother’s arms.
Annoyed by this development, Amina made up her mind not to go back to her demented captors; since she did not know what lay ahead.
Speaking further, she said: “i left him under that tree, hoping on some irrational level it would protect him. His remains are probably still there.” I was forced into marriage three times, and had a child with each husband.”
Amina explained that she was visiting her elder sister in her home town of Baga in Borno state when a car stopped and 10 Boko Haram fighters jumped out.
When she protested, the insurgents beat her to a state of unconsciousness, she opened her eyes and found herself in Sambisa forest, an area three times the size of Wales, as she said: “I found myself in a mist of 200 women.”
Recalling further, she said at least one of the girls was a Chibok schoolgirl as they became friends. She is, to her knowledge, still there.
She said: “She was also forced into marriage and has a child. She is very unhappy, her husband has two other wives senior to her and they don’t give her food. She is hungry, and he beats her,”
Amina was immediately forced into marriage with a 40-year-old Boko Haram terrorists.
“He dislocated my arm,” she recalls. Within a couple of months, after forcefully sleeping with her she was pregnant. Just four days after the birth of her son, now four, her husband went with the terror group to attack a village and was killed.
Amina, who said she was forced to marry again, said: “The second man was 50, he would beat me too. When I refused to sleep with hum, he locked me up.”
The assault on her resulted into another pregnancy. And yet again, seven months into her pregnancy, this man was killed in a village attack.
She gave birth to a little girl, now three, and with little time to recover was again forced to marry, to a man in his late forties.
It was perhaps this fearsome love which gave her the courage to flee. Her chance came when her husband got into a fight with another terrorist, while the community was distracted and eventually she grabbed the kids, ran for five days and was drinking from puddles all through.
She believed her baby died of starvation as she had no breast milk to give. Finally last month, she reached a roadside in Maiduguri and begged strangers who offered to help.
On the part of Amina, she said she was never forced to carry a bomb as she claimed that she knew who those girls were. “One told me she had been told to carry a bomb to a market,” Amina recalls. “I told her ‘Run away, think of the elderly, the children you would kill.”
The Nigerian Army had on December 20, 2016, made an incredible breakthrough against Boko Haram, rescuing 1,880 women and children held by Boko Haram in the Sambisa Forest.
The theatre commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, in a news conference at the Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri on Wednesday, December 21, said that troops also arrested about 504 Boko Haram terrorists while 19 of them willingly surrendered.
He said that the Army had arrested about 37 foreigners who were currently undergoing interrogations to ascertain whether they were terrorists or not.