MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, (Reuters) – A Nigerian teenager kidnapped by Boko Haram more than two years ago has been rescued, the first of more than 200 girls seized in a raid on their school in Chibok town to return from captivity in the insurgents’ forest lair, officials said yesterday.
Soldiers working together with a civilian vigilante group rescued the girl and her four-month-old baby near Damboa in the remote northeast, army spokesman Sani Usman said. They also detained a “suspected Boko Haram terrorist” called Mohammed Hayatu who claimed to be the girl’s husband, he added.
“Preliminary investigation shows that she is indeed one of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram terrorists on 14th April 2014 in Chibok,” Usman said in a statement.
Rights activists named the girl as Amina Ali Darsha Nkeki. They quoted her as saying her schoolmates remained in the Sambisa forest in the northeast, Boko Haram’s biggest stronghold.
The girl will meet President Muhammadu Buhari in the capital, Abuja, today, his spokesman said, adding that she would be accompanied by the governor of Borno, the northeastern state in which Chibok is located.
A Reuters witness who saw the girl at the governor’s office, in Maiduguri, said she seemed tired and was limping. Her age has not been disclosed but she appeared to be in her late teens.
Her rescue may give a boost to Buhari, a former military ruler who made crushing the Islamist militant Boko Haram insurgency a key pillar of his election campaign in 2015.