‘How we jumped out of Boko Haram truck’ – girls who escaped speak


Punch interviews two of the girls who jumped out of the
truck they were being transported in by Boko Haram men
after the men stormed their school and kidnapped over
250 girls. Interview below

What is your name?
Sawok: My name is Amina Sawok.
Walse: My name is Thabita Walse.

Can you describe the attack on your school?
Sawok: We were in the hostel. One of the men dressed in
military camouflage asked us where our dining hall was. From
our hostels, they took us to the dining hall and from there,
we were moved into the waiting vehicles and they headed
towards Damboa town. The incident happened around
11pm.
Walse: It is a long story. They came to our school and
deceived us into believing they were soldiers. They were
dressed in military uniform and made us believe they were
about rescuing us only for us to later find out that they
were insurgents. When we discovered, it was already too
late and there was little we could do.

At what point did you know they were not real
soldiers but insurgents?
Sawok: They were shouting and rude. That was when it
became clear to us that they were insurgents, then they
started shooting and set our school on fire. They even shot
the security men guarding the school.
How did you escape?
Sawok: I jumped out of the vehicle that looked like a truck.
Walse: Our vehicle developed a problem and they were
forced to stop. I took the opportunity with some girls to run
into a dark bush.
What gave you the courage to jump out of the
vehicle?
Sawok: I have heard a lot about Boko Haram, the bad
things they do and how they have killed many people in the
state. I was afraid and I became desperate. I felt getting to
their camp could be dangerous for me and it would be better
if I escaped. That gave me the courage to jump out. I
believed that I would only get injured since it was dark and
they may not know how to look for me in the bush.

Did all the girls that escaped plan it?
Sawok: No, I believe the same thing was running through
our minds. Immediately one of us jumped out, the rest of us
just started following her.
Do you have any injury?
Sawok: No, I am very fine.

How do you feel about the others that were not
able to escape?
Sawok: I would have loved all of us to escape. I can’t
celebrate my escape because some of my friends and
classmates are still in the hands of the insurgents and I
don’t know what they are facing. It is my prayer that they
should be freed.
Walse: I have no problem, I am okay and very strong
physically. The only problem I have is that some of my
friends are still held hostage by terrorists.

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