Why I Left Behind My 3 Children — Rescued Chibok Girl

Maj-Gen Ibrahim Ali, the Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, announced the rescue of another Chibok schoolgirl, Saratu Dauda, who had left her three children with the insurgents in Borno State’s Sambisa Forest.

This came just a few days after her two classmates, Esther Marcus and Hauwa Maltha, escaped and were apprehended by the Nigerian Army and delivered to the Borno State government.

On Monday, Ali told Borno State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Zuwaira Gambo, that Saratu was rescued by troops on an operation in the Ukuba area of Sambisa Forest.

Saratu, 25, who is serial number 10 on the list of abducted Chibok schoolgirls, he said, was from Umbulala in Borno State’s Chibok LGA.

“She was once married to one Abu Yusuf, who she later divorced, before getting married to one Baana, also known as Abu …., all Boko Haram terrorists.

“Saratu has three daughters; she left them in the terrorists’ hideouts. So far, efforts to rescue her children and other women and children are still ongoing.

“Saratu has within the last 10 days undergone medical care at the 7 Div. Medical Hospital in Maimalari Cantonment and we would today officially hand her over to officials of the Borno State government from the Ministry of Women Affairs.

“As of today, the statistics of 276 abducted Chibok schoolgirls indicate that 57 girls escaped in 2014, 107 girls were released in 2018, three were recovered in 2019, two were recovered in 2021, 11 were rescued in 2022 and three were rescued so far in 2023,” he said.

Ali said that a total of 183 Chibok girls were out of captivity while 93 girls were still unaccounted for.

In an interview with newsmen, Saratu said, “I approached my husband asking if he could allow me to go to my parents and relieve them from all their worries but he said Saratu, I cannot make a decision over that. You know the situation we are in, and this is going to put me into trouble.

“I also pleaded with him that, if I will leave, would he allow me to go with my three children but he refused, so I insisted that I wouldn’t leave behind my toddler no matter what because it won’t be easy for me to live without her, which he obliged.

“After a while, a guardian we were entrusted to when we arrived at Sambisa Forest, Malam Ahmad, came and told me that he was aware of my plan to escape. He advised me not to do that, and if there was anything I needed, he would help me with it.

“Having realised that, I hid my plan and assured him that I would heed his words. Later, I told my husband that I will not back down. I left the children in his room and escaped from the insurgent’s den,” she said

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