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Eight years after, first Chibok girl to escape from Sambisa forest, Amina Ali, narrates ordeal

On Saturday, a Chibok girl, Amina Ali, who was rescued in May 2016 after two years in Boko Haram’s captivity, shared her story with the audience at the ‘Statues also breathe’ art exhibition.

The exhibition held at the Art Twenty-One gallery in Eko Hotels, Lagos, was an art project based on the 108 Chibok girls still in captivity after eight years.

It is an initiative of French artist Prune Nuorry in collaboration with the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife and families of the abducted Chibok girls.

Eight years later, while most of the girls are still in captivity and the world seems to be forgetting about them, the collaborators remembered them through the exhibition.

Amina, one of nearly 300 girls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014, was one of the representatives of the Chibok community who addressed the audience at the unveiling of the artworks.

Amina was overwhelmed with many emotions from her tragic experience and could not express them.

In a short speech, she revealed that her happiest day was when she escaped the Boko Haram insurgents in 2016.

In an Interview with jurnalists, she revealed she was a junior secondary school student who was kidnapped.

She said, “My name is Amina Ali; I’m among the Chibok girls who went missing eight years ago; I was in school in Jss 2 when Boko haram kidnapped us and took us captives.”

Amina, who also disclosed that she was the first person to escape all by herself, advised girls not to joke about their education.

“I am the first one who escaped from the Sambisa forest; I escaped when the Nigerian army came to fight them while running into the bush with the Boko haram people, and I decided to try running elsewhere; I was the only one at that moment,” She said.

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Amina, now 25 years old, said she escaped captivity in 2016 and has returned to school.

“I stayed there for one year and two months. I escaped there in 2016. After that, we stayed there in Abuja in the women’s center to receive treatments and get our education, so whatever we forgot, we had to make it back before attending school. They kept us there for like six months after that in 2017; they put us in a school in Adamawa.”

Amina, still appealing to the government, said, “I’m calling for the government. We are still begging them to bring our sisters back and see how happy our parents will be. We also want them to be happy, and we want them to be back because we are missing them so much.”

Eight years after over 100 still missing

In August, Nigerian Army said its troops of Operation Hadin Kai, operating in the Northeast region, have rescued another Chibok girl, Aisha Grema, and three others.

About five years ago, 81 school girls who the insurgent group Boko Haram abducted were released.

The extremist Boko Haram sect had, on 14 April 2014, abducted 276 girls from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State. A presidential committee said 57 of the girls immediately escaped from their abductors.

When the President Muhammadu Buhari administration came to power in 2015, it began negotiations with the Boko Haram sect. That yielded the release of 21 of the girls in October 2016 and another 82 in May 2017.

Not much has been heard of the remaining 112 girls, although the federal government is still working on getting them released.

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