– A freed Boko Haram bride says stigma affecting her
– She bore a son for a captor but the child died
– She says she misses her husband and the forest
A 17-year-old girl simply identified as Zara who was abducted by Boko Haram terrorists and was freed by soldiers has confessed that she is still in love with her terrorist husband.
In a reports by BBC, Zaha is not one of the famous abducted Chibok girls but is going through a traumatic period due to the ordeals she went through in the hands of her captors.
She said that when they were abducted they were given the chance to either be slaves or brides.
“They gave us a choice – to be married, or to be a slave. I decided to marry,” she said.
Zara said life was tough but freedom came when Nigerian soldiers bombarded Sambisa forest and rescued them.
Mohamed Umaru who is Zara’s uncle said when she returned, she was already pregnant.
“The women in our family realised she was three months pregnant,”
“In our family it happens that some of us are Christians and some are Muslims. She was a Christian before she was kidnapped but the Boko Haram who married her turned her into a Muslim.”
The family was divided about what to do to with the pregnancy and after a vote, they agreed to keep it.
“She said her husband’s father is called Usman, so that is how she named the child,”
The 17-year-old mother said people started insulting her because her child was fathered by a Boko Haram terrorist.
“People call me a Boko Haram wife and called me a criminal. They didn’t want me near. They didn’t like me.”
“They didn’t like my child. When he fell sick nobody would look after him,”
The nine month old child however was bitten by a snake one night while sleeping with Zara outside the house and died.
“Some were happy that he died. They were happy the blood of Boko Haram had gone from the family.”
Mohamed said some were glad the child had left which affected Zara.
“They said thank God that the kid is dead, that God has answered their prayers.
“Sometimes she says she wants to go to school and become a doctor and help society, but sometimes, when people insult her, she says she wants to go back to the Sambisa Forest.
“She always talks about her husband who happens to be a Boko Haram commander. She says the guy is nice to her and that he wants to start a new life with her.”
He says he fears she will kill herself one day.
“She will, she will, she will definitely do that if she gets the chance,” he added.
Zara says her longing for the forest where she was freed has increased because of the stigmatisation from the community.
“The feeling for the forest is strong now, but it will go away. I will forget the time with Boko Haram, but not yet.”
Her uncle says stigmatising the children abducted by Boko Haram will only create more problems worse than the one they went through.
“People should understand that these children didn’t create this, but if we continue to stigmatise people with such trauma we might create something much, much bigger than Boko Haram in the future.
“You are creating a more dangerous thing than Boko Haram if you grow up not welcomed by society and with nobody wanting to help you.
“My prayer is for the government to do something. They should come to their aid and reintegrate them and show them love.”
In a video purportedly released by Boko Haram, it showed some as he girls alive raising hope that they could still be rescued. However, The Nigerian army raised doubt about the authenticity of the video but assured that it will not relent in its effort.