By Ismail Akwei
In detention at a military facility in Maiduguri in northeastern Nigeria is a 14-year-old girl who was arrested in an attempt to blow up the facility.
The girl is a suspected suicide bomber for terrorist group Boko Haram. She told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that she was sent to detonate an improvised explosive device for refusing to marry three different members of the group.
The unnamed girl told the agency that she has been with Boko Haram for three years after her abduction with her father in Borno in 2013 while they were running for their lives.
There are many girls like her who are in the military detention facility undergoing “de-radicalisation”, the commander of Nigeria’s anti-Boko Haram operation, Major General Lucky Irabor was quoted by the agency on Sunday.
Below is the ordeal of the girl as published by NAN.
I have spent three years in the hands of Boko Haram. Three different Boko Haram (terrorists) had proposed to marry me and I refused. Two among them were commanders (amir).
When I refused for the third time, one of the commanders became furious and threatened to kill me and my father. I told him I would rather die than marry a Boko Haram (terrorist).
So, after one week, they said since I have refused to get married, I should be taken to Maiduguri for a suicide mission. So, three of them held my hands and they injected me.
Then, I never knew what was happening again.
I was taken to a herbalist, who, after I regained consciousness, told me that I had been with him for 30 days.
He told me he was preparing me for a mission. So he gave me some water to drink. I don’t know what it tasted like but I drank it. So, he said they would come and pick me today.
At about 7p.m. three Boko Haram (members) came with a male and a female. They were also recruited for the mission like me.
We spent one and a half days on the road to Maiduguri. It was when we got to Maiduguri that they strapped the bombs on our bodies. At that moment I knew that I was going to die, so I started crying.
I was watching when the first bomber, a female, detonated her explosive close to a military checkpoint which killed no one but herself. The second, a male, was killed by the military before he could detonate his.
At that time something told me to remove my own IED and surrender which I did. I was surrounded by soldiers and policemen and I fainted.
When I woke, I discovered that one of the policemen at the checkpoint was a brother of my mother’s. I think that was the reason I survived.