Amina Tsawur, 17, was helped to escape by a member of the terrorist group who spoke her local language. The Boko Haram member told her to “ask to be moved away from the other hostages so she could relieve herself.” Amina followed his instructions, then fled through the jungle in northern Nigeria until she reached a highway where a passing motorist drove her to a nearby town.
Describing the moment of her capture, she said: ‘It was about llpm and we were very scared to hear shooting. We didn’t know what to do or where to run.
‘After some time we started seeing men in soldiers’ uniforms coming in the school by torchlight.
‘We thought they were soldiers. They said they had been sent to evacuate us so we would not be harmed.
‘We followed them outside and they got us into a lorry. When they shouted ‘Allahu Akhbar’ [God is great], we knew they were Boko Haram.
We all started crying and begging for help, but they ordered us to keep shut or they would kill us.
They took us into the bush and we drove all night and in the morning too, until we arrived at a place where they asked some of us to cook, others to wash dishes, some to grind corn and other chores.
They kept insulting us and saying that we must stop going to school, that they were going to marry all of us to their people; that our teachers and government are unbelievers whom they would all kill.
After her escape, Amina eventually reached Damboa, a market town on the edge of the jungle, 50 miles from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.
Counter-terrorism expert Robin Horstall said, ‘She’s got faces, languages, tribes, directions of movement, vehicles, a huge amount of vital information to pass on…”