Sunday 25th June, 2017
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Rescued Chibok girl: I fear she is under pressure to follow Islam - Mother

Rescued Chibok girl: I fear she is under pressure to follow Islam - Mother

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.

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