More information around the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents in 2014 has emerged through secret dairies kept by the girls.
One of the authors of the dairies, Naomi Adamu wrote that the insurgents had come to the school on that night in April 2014, to steal machinery for house building and when they could not find what they were looking for, the militants were unsure what to do with the girls.
“One boy said they should burn us all, and they (some of the other fighters) said, ‘No, let us take them with us to Sambisa (Boko Haram’s remote forest base) … if we take them to Shekau (the group’s leader), he will know what to do,” She wrote.
Naomi Adamu was among 82 of the Chibok girls released by Boko Haram in May – part of a second wave after 21 of them were freed in October. They are being held in a secret location in Abuja for what the government has called a “restoration process.”
The authenticity of the diaries, written by Adamu and her friend, Sarah Samuel, cannot be verified, nor their intended role as the government negotiates with Boko Haram for more releases but a copy was obtained exclusively by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
According to the diaries, they started documenting their ordeal, in passable English, with some parts scribbled in less coherent Hausa, a few months after the abduction, when Boko Haram gave them exercise books to use during Koranic lessons.
To hide the diaries from their captors, the girls would bury the notebooks in the ground, or carry them in their underwear.
The diaries shed light not only on the horrors the girls endured under Boko Haram, but their acts of resistance, and their staunch belief that they would one day go home. They even devised amusing and mocking nicknames for the fighters.