From one traumatized person to another, the 275 women rescued last week from the evil forest of Sambisa told different tales of woes at the weekend.
During a visit to Malkoi, one of the camps for displaced persons in Yola, Adamawa State, the Daily Times met women young and old, as well as girls who may need a long time to readjust to normal living.
Some of the women disclosed that they trekked for three days before they were rescued and finally arrived in Yola.
Their disheveled and gaunt looks drew sympathy from onlookers. Many of them looked hunger-stricken while the children kept wailing as a result of illness and malnutrition.
Some of the women and children had to be assisted as they could not walk on their own. Another set could not alight from the vehicles that brought them from Sambisa following exhaustion and hunger.
One of the returnees is Asabe Aliyu, a 23-year-old mother of four children from Delsak, a village near Chibok town. She intermittently vomited blood an indication that she sustained internal injuries. She disclosed that beating was the order of the day in the Boko Haram camp. That was in addition to the deployment of all forms of vulgar words. They forced her into marrying somebody after a series of sexual assaults unleashed on her by different men on a daily basis.
Death was the punishment for any infraction or mistake, in Sambisa, under the Islamic sect.
“I was abducted six months ago in Delsak when our village was overrun by Boko Haram. First I had sojourned from my village to a forest close to Cameroun, they turned me into a sex machine. They took turns to sleep with me. Now, I am pregnant and I cannot identify the father,” she said in tears.
If she thought that the pregnancy would elicit compassion from the sect, Asabe was wrong. “With my condition as a pregnant woman, I did the cooking of their food,” she lamented.
Lami Musa clutched a three-day-old baby girl. She looked tired and haggard. Her legs were swollen and a support had to be given to her before she could work.
Fighting back tears tears, she said: “They adducted the whole of my family and killed my husband at Kilkasa forest when I was four months pregnant. They took us to Sambisa forest, we were sleeping in an open field. For days, we went without water or food.”
Lami continued: “Three days ago, I gave birth to this baby girl. As I am talking to you, I cannot ascertain the status of her health. I have not had a bath since I was delivered of the baby. The baby is yet to be bathed too. “
Another woman from Minchika, Maryamu Adamu said she saw hell call Sambisa. She could not tell if her two children and husband were still alive because she had not set her eyes on them since she was captured and taken to the Sambisa forest nine months ago.
She is, however, full of thanks to God that the ordeal appears to have now ended.
Her words: “I know I was dead, my existing now is just a mere shadow of life as nothing moves me. But now that I am here, I confirm that I am a living being.I thank God that I am alive. I thank God.”
A displaced man, staying in Malkoi Camp in Yola, where the women were taken to, had a reunion of sorts. He saw four of his cousins and their children whom the family had thought were dead, among the 275 rescued women. He was full of Joy and openly shed tears.