In 2014, Boko Haram militants stormed an all-girls secondary school in the village of Chibok in Borno state in Nigeria and kidnapped more than 200 students. Two of the girls who escaped the attack just graduated from high school and recounted their disturbing story.
A total of 57 girls were able to escape the attack; among those were Joy Bishara, 20, and Lydia Pogu, 19. While giving a detailed account of the events that followed to People, the two girls said they were sleeping when the terrorist group attacked the school. The militants were disguised in police uniforms and demanded the girls stay calm as they were there to help them.
However, the girls were aware that they were not real officers.
“We were all crying and screaming. They told us to keep quiet or they’re going to kill us. So they start to shoot their guns up on top of us, making us quiet. All of us were scared. We were just holding each other,” said Bishara.
She further added, “They asked us to follow them, we should go with them. When we tried going with them, some of us start running ... then they went and put us all back together and said, ‘OK, you all have to cooperate or else we are going to just shoot any girl who just followed a different direction that we didn’t point.”’
While recounting the harrowing story she further said that the militants gave the girls an ultimatum: run away and die or get on a truck and leave with them.
The girls understandably chose the latter and they then made their way through a deserted area. As the truck set off, it created dust clouds from the high speed. Snatching the opportunity, girls jumped off the truck and ran in different directions.
Bishara and Pogu managed to hide behind a truck and waited there for help. After waiting there for a while they were able to stop a motorist who drove them back to Chibok.
The duo was lucky enough to escape the incident and return back to their families. After a period of four months, Bishara and Pogu, along with other girls, managed to move to the United States. There, with the help of a Christian nonprofit and a Nigerian activist group, they started school in Virginia.
Recently, the girls graduated from Canyonville Christian Academy.
Now, they are all set to attend Southeastern University in Florida and have also created a GoFundMe to help them with their university expenses.
The abduction of the schoolgirls started an online campaign #BringBackOurGirls, in which people from all over the world posted pictures of themselves online holding sings urging the terrorists to release the students.
The then-first lady Michelle Obama was among the many prominent public figures that joined the campaign.
Recently, Boko Haram released 82 of the girls. However, 113 still remain missing.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters