Most of the 219 girls kidnapped from the town of Chibok by Boko Haram militants more than two years ago are still in captivity in a forest in northeast Nigeria, the first girl to be rescued was quoted as saying on Wednesday. “She says all of the others are still in the Sambisa forest area. That they are heavily guarded,” a statement from the #Bringbackourgirls activist group quoted Amina Ali Darsha Nkeki as saying after her rescue this week.
Binta Ali hadn’t seen her daughter Amina since she was abducted with more than 200 classmates from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, northeast Nigeria, more than two years ago. Amina and her brother Mai were Binta’s only living children. The other 11 had died. And while Amina was being held by Boko Haram Islamists, Binta, in her sixties, also lost her husband Ali, one of 18 parents of the 219 kidnapped girls to die since the abduction on April 14, 2014. “He died of high blood pressure,” said Yakubu Nkeki, head of the Abducted Chibok Parents’ group.
Those parents have been hanging on to hope for their daughters’ return. On Tuesday, Binta’s prayers were answered when Amina was found by soldiers and civilian vigilantes. “They (the vigilantes) took her to her village and parked the vehicle outside her house,” said Ayuba Alamson Chibok, a Chibok community leader. “They sent for the mother and told her to go to the vehicle and see if the girl inside is her daughter. “When the mother approached the car the girl stepped out and her mother exclaimed, ‘Amina! Is that you?’ They ran towards each other and hugged. The mother burst in tears. “Relatives and neighbours quickly gathered around the duo and began to celebrate and singing praises to God for rescuing the girl.”