Mother of a rescued Chibok girl, Binta Ali, has expressed fear over her daughter, Amina’s, welfare and future. Binta said she is worried that her daughter’s life may never be like it used to.
Recall that Amina, one of the over 200 girls abducted from a school in Chibok in April 2014, was found in the Sambisa Forest close to Nigeria’s border with Cameroon in May.
She was found while breastfeeding her four-month-old baby and was rescued by soldiers working together with a civilian vigilante group.
Upon her rescue, she met with President Muhammadu Buhari and has since been reportedly held for months by the Nigerian government and confined to a house in Abuja for a “restoration process”.
But Binta, who has spent the last two months in the house with her daughter, told Reuters, “Before she was kidnapped, she wanted to further her education, but now she is afraid of schooling, and she wants to be close to me at home. She wants a sewing machine so that she can start a business making clothes.”
The victim’s mother further noted that she was worried that her daughter was being pressured into following Islam, having been forced to convert from Christianity to Islam by Boko Haram terrorists during her captivity.
She said, “Amina herself does not want to remain a Muslim. “An Islamic teacher once visited the house several times and told my daughter to maintain her new faith but she did not want to see him, although the teacher stopped visiting after she complained about him.”
Binta said she was shocked to hear about the hardships faced by her daughter as a captive of the Islamist group. “She used to be very afraid. She would talk to herself during the night prior to her kidnap, but now she sleeps soundly. She is no longer afraid,” Binta added.
“We learnt that Amina and the other girls, starving and with nothing to cook with, resorted to eating an entire bag of beans and maize raw. I cannot imagine how a human being can eat raw maize and beans like a goat. Other parents have been coming to visit me since I returned, but I have not told them anything, even though I know some of those whose daughters have died.
“Although I’m worried about Amina’s religion and education and uncertainty over when she will be allowed to return home, I still have reasons to be positive about my daughter,” she added.