The Nigerian military has recently received another Chibok schoolgirl who was abducted by Boko Haram terrorists nine years ago during the infamous Chibok abduction.
This is the latest in a series of rescues carried out by the military recently, including one done two weeks ago.
Saratu Dauda was 15 when she was abducted. She revealed that she had been forced to marry two terrorist leaders and had three children with one of them during her captivity. The children are now aged seven, five, and two.
Major General Ibrahim Ali, the military commander in northeast Nigeria, announced that Saratu was found wandering alone in the forest by troops of Operation Desert Sanity II on May 6 of this year. Saratu was the tenth person on the published list of abducted Chibok schoolgirls.
During a media briefing preceding her handover to the government of Borno state, Major General Ali stated that Saratu, now 25, was unable to escape captivity with any of her three children. However, he said the military is working to retrieve them he said.
According to Major General Ali, the Theater Commander Operation Hadin Kai, Saratu Dauda received medical care at the 7Div Hospital Military in Maiduguri within the past 10 days.
Zuwaira Gambo, the Borno State Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, received Saratu from the military. Gambo stated that Saratu would be admitted to the state rehabilitation centre to receive further care and support.
“After her rehabilitation, Saratu can meet with her parents before deciding whether to enrol in school or learn a trade,” she said.
Happy but sad
Saratu expressed her joy at being found by the military when she escaped and shared that she had never given up hope of one day being free. She also spoke about her children, whom she had to leave behind during her escape, and appealed to the military to help rescue them.
“I love my children, and I want them to be with me,” Saratu said. “I couldn’t run with them because it would have put all of us in danger, and I didn’t want anything bad to happen to them. I know their father would care for them, even though he might not be pleased that I plotted my escape. I beg the government to help me rescue my children too.”
A total of 276 girls had been abducted in 2014 from the school in Chibok. Out of this number, only 57 were able to escape captivity. Four years later, the Nigerian government ensured a negotiated release of 107 girls. In 2019, three more were recovered, followed by another 11 in 2022.
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