The first of the Chibok girls to make it home after being released by her Boko Haram captors spent her first night in freedom tossing and turning and screaming “They will kill me! They will kill me!”
So says the Reverend Enoch Mark, who stayed up through Thursday night with the traumatized young woman.
She appears to be the daughter of a Chadian carpenter who moved to the town of Chibok many years ago, Associated Press reported yesterday. She is the first of 219 girls held in captivity for more than five months to be released and to find her way home.
Some 276 female students were abducted by Boko Haram from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, on April 14. Fifty-seven escaped by themselves that night or the following day — some by jumping from the open-backed trucks that transported them and clinging to branches of low-hanging trees.
One possible reason that the girls remain captive is that they probably have been split into groups and saving one lot could endanger the others, Gordon Brown, the former British premier who has adopted their cause, told a news conference at the United Nations on Thursday. He said some despondent families of the missing students are considering whether to hold funerals, as is their tradition when someone has been missing for four months and more.
“I do not want the funerals to take place,” said Brown. “They are likely to be alive,” he said, citing information gathered. This first appearance of a Chibok abductee could inspire hope, said Mark, the Church of the Brethren pastor who stayed with the young woman Thursday night.