BBC Africa: Escaping Boko Haram: How Three Nigeria Girls Found Safety.


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Girls234

 

Escaping Boko Haram: How three Nigeria girls found safety

 

The story of three Nigerian girls who escaped Boko Haram

For six months the world has waited for news of the fate of more than 200 girls abducted by Nigerian militant group Boko Haram. As the Nigerian government insists a deal to release the “Chibok girls” is being negotiated, three girls who escaped their captors have told their story to BBC Hausa.

Lami, Maria and Hajara were at school in Chibok, north-eastern Nigeria, when they were kidnapped in April. Best friends Lami and Maria escaped by jumping from the back of a truck. Hajara was taken to a camp but later fled with another girl.

 

To protect the girls’ identity we have portrayed their story as an animation, and provided an edited transcript of their account below.

 

The girls’ names have been changed for their protection.

 

Animation by Luis Ruibal.

 

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Lami: It was Monday night. We had exams the following day. Then we started to hear shootings in the town. So we went out. We phoned our parents to tell them what was happening in the town. They told us to run away when we got the chance. We told them that the town was already surrounded so there was no way we could run.

 

Maria: Lami woke me up saying: “Maria didn’t you hear what’s happening? Haven’t you heard sounds of shooting from the town?”

 

I said we should climb the wall and run away. She said: “No. No-one has run away. We should gather in one place and wait to see what’s going to happen.”

 

Other girls said nothing would happen to us. “We’re girls. They don’t do anything to girls. We should wait and see what God would do.”

 

Lami: We were at the school when suddenly three Boko Haram members entered.

 

They said: “If any of you attempt to leave we’ll kill all of you.” When we went out they were everywhere. They gathered us where we have our school assembly. As we were there they kept burning the school. They burnt everything.

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Hajara: They asked us to get out of the gate, saying that when we were out they would let us go back to our homes. They said whoever did not have a headscarf or shoes should go and get them. They then asked us to climb on to a lorry, on top of the food loaded in it. The lorry was so high that we couldn’t easily climb on.

 

Maria: They said to us: “You’re only coming to school for prostitution. Boko (Western education) is haram (forbidden) so what are you doing in school?”

 

We kept quiet. I think there could have been about 100 Boko Haram members – they were all over the school. They outnumbered us. They took us away in their vehicles. We were sitting on oil drums in the vehicle. Our vehicle was really overloaded. We were saying to one another that we should throw away our shoes and scarves so that if our parents came they would know the road we had taken.

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Hajara: The vehicle became full before I could get on. There were about 100 of us walking. We stopped at one town and people brought us water. I saw one of those who brought us water changed his clothes and joined the Boko Haram men. They then put us in other vehicles.

 

They put the rest in the boots of cars. Some of the Boko Haram members were so small that if I were to grab their necks I could break them. Some couldn’t even carry their guns properly.

 

Maria: We were wondering where we were being taken to. When we entered the vehicle, Lami said to me: “Shouldn’t we jump out of the vehicle here so that we may possibly escape? There are no other vehicles close by.”

 

Hajara: I thought, it’s preferable to have these people shoot me as I run than have them humiliate me. They kept saying to us: “Make sure you put on your scarves. Make sure you put on your scarves. We’ll shoot any girl we see without a scarf. And any girl who jumps out will die.”

 

I was about to jump out when one girl held me back and said they’d shoot me if I did.

 

“What’s the difference,” I said. “Is it not to the same death we’re going? They should shoot me here and let my corpse be collected.”

 

I was crying and praying until we reached the camp.

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Lami: There was a lot of dust on the road, they couldn’t see us. When we jumped out, we started to run. We were running without shoes. We found other people. We started to run away from them thinking they were Boko Haram. But they too had run from the town.

 

Hajara: Boko Haram gathered us in a forest around noon. Some of the girls were tired and were lying down. But I couldn’t lie down. The spirit of God was asking me to go. It was telling me: “Get up and go. Get up and go.”

 

So I went. Another girl followed me. When we were going I saw some of them [Boko Haram members] performing ablutions. We stooped as if we were trying to pull out thorns from our shoes, as if we were just going to wee. We’d walk a little then bend down for a little while as if we were looking for something we’d lost.

 

After walking for a while they couldn’t see us properly since it was forest. We then started to run. After we had run for a short distance, we heard them saying “catch those girls.” We kept running. Whether they came after us not, we didn’t know.

 

Hajara: We kept going and our shoes were ripped. We found a house, where a girl could speak Hausa. Her parents gave us a place to sleep. We reached the Chibok area in the morning. A man looking for a relative among the missing girls drove us on motorbike into town.

 

When I saw my elder and younger brothers, I fell to the ground crying. My mother and father were crying and all members of my family cried. Before I reached home it was as if there was a death in the house. Mats were spread. People were consoling my father and mother thinking that I had died.

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Lami: The people we met said: “Your town is far away. You can’t go there now. Come here and wait until morning when we’ll take you into the town to get transport back home.” We stayed there till morning when they asked us to get up so that we go to the town. We couldn’t walk. Our feet were full of thorns.

 

They said: “Let’s go find a vehicle to take you home.”

 

Maria: The men who helped us took us to Chibok, and I cried. It was the second time that something like that had happened to me. My dad was a pastor; Boko Haram went to our house and killed him. They also shot my mum in the stomach; they gave her 2,000 Naira ($12) to have the bullet.

 

Lami: My parents warmed up water and cared for my feet. I was taken to the hospital and it was two weeks before I could stand up.

 

Maria: I continued to live with the thought that Boko Haram members were coming to get me. I couldn’t sleep.

 

Hajara: I was having nightmares every day. There was even a day when I dreamed that they gathered all of us who fled in one place, and said to us: “You girls have defied us and fled. We’re now going to burn you alive.”

 

I haven’t forgotten about the other girls who are still in the hands of those people. I keep praying for them.

 

Lami: God will never make us meet these people again. And for our sisters who are still in the forest, may God help them. And may the whole world cry out for these girls to get out so that we continue with our education in school again.

 

Maria: They should pray to God to forgive them their sins. I’d also ask them to bring back the girls they have kidnapped because their parents are in distress. Some of the parents of the girls have already died. It was the thought of their girls that killed them.

 

Hajara: God will do what he wills, but I don’t want to look at them because of what they have done to my life. They think they’ve ruined me, but God willing, they haven’t ruined me. I’ll continue with my education.

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More on This Story

 

 

 Who are Boko Haram?

 

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  • Founded in 2002
  • Initially focused on opposing Western education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
  • Some three million people affected
  • Declared terrorist group by US in 2013

 

Who are Boko Haram?

 

Profile: Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau

 

Will ‘truce’ with Boko Haram free Chibok girls?

 

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The Bring Back Our Girls Hashtag Campaign

 

Published on May 9, 2014

All across the globe a campaign has started using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. Be a part of this magnificent effort to bring the kidnapped Nigerian girls home. Make your own sigh and post it on social media today.

 

 

 

#BringBackOurGirls

 

Published on May 5, 2014

The leader of an Islamic extremist group in Nigeria says his group has started kidnapping women and children as part of its bloody guerrilla campaign against the country’s government, according to a video released Monday. Scores of girls and young women kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors, a civic organization reported Wednesday.

 

 

 

#BringBackOurGirls Worldwide Protest

 

Published on May 7, 2014

Images of people the world over weeping and protesting for the return of 276 young girls kidnapped from a Nigerian boarding school. #BringBackOurGirls #BringBackOurDaughters #276

 

 

 

BBC News100 WOMEN

Who is 100 Women for?

I don’t know her name, because she lives in a remote village in India – or was it Afghanistan? She’s not a politician – nor will she ever be. She does not seek publicity, or wear shoes that cost more than a Bangladeshi worker will earn in 10 years. But hopefully one day she or her daughter will break free from male-dominated society and carve out a living as a small-scale businesswoman.

BBC audience survey

 

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100 Women BBC NEWS

 

BBC News Africa: Nigeria’s Boko Haram Abducts More Women And Girls.

 

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QVC Host Lisa Robertson Announces She’s Leaving Network: Home Shoppers Express Their Shock.


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From E! News:

 

QVC Host Lisa Robertson Announces She’s Leaving Network: Home Shoppers Express Their Shock

 

QVC Host Lisa Robertson Is Leaving After 20 Years

 

 

Home shopping viewers are about to lose one of their favorite hosts!

 

QVC star Lisa Robertson shocked fans Thursday night when she announced she was leaving the shopping channel.

 

“Over the last 20 years, I have loved being with you on QVC. Tonight, I’m here to tell you that I’ve decided after a lot of thought, because I do love you, that I’m going to be leaving QVC in December,” she said before the QVC Beauty Awards. “I wanted to let you know so we’d all have time to talk, adjust and kind of figure things out and hopefully stay in touch afterwards.”

 

The announcement caught thousands of loyal customers by surprise. In fact, many of them headed to Twitter to express their sadness over the news.

 

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In a blog post on QVC’s official website, Robertson did not share what her plans were for the future. She did, however, open up about her decision.

 

“After a lot of soul-searching I have decided that I will be leaving QVC. It is time for a new challenge and a new adventure,” she wrote. “Although it is a little scary to leave what you have always known, I am very excited about what lays ahead.”

 

Robertson earned thousands of fans for her quick wit and love for all things fashion and beauty. Some of her most popular shows include PM Style, Friday Night Beauty and Ask Lisa About Style.

 

Before her final show on Dec. 12, Robertson is looking forward to shopping with customers and savoring each and every show.

 

“I will treasure every moment more because I know I will not have them much longer,” she wrote. “But I will also treasure the opportunity to be excited about what is to come.”

 

YES, I watch QVC.

 

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch: St. Louis Police Officer Under Investigation Following Call To Protester’s Employer.


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Activist confronts Cop trying to intimidate her

 

Published on Oct 15, 2014

A Saint Louis community police officer calls the employer of a local activist @stacksizshort in an attempt to intimidate and cause her to lose her job.

 

 

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

 

St. Louis police officer under investigation following call to protester’s employer

 

 

ST. LOUIS   •   Internal Affairs is investigating a police officer who called a woman’s employer to discuss her involvement in Ferguson protests.

 

Leigh Maibes recorded a phone conversation with Officer Keith Novara on a YouTube video in which she questions why he called her boss regarding her involvement and Twitter posts about police tactics used during protests.

 

In the video, she says Novara called and texted her boss, a real estate broker, on Tuesday, about her tweets.

Novara responds that he was giving the broker a “heads up” because he is a south St. Louis business owner, and communicating with them is part of his responsibilities as a South Patrol officer. Novara can then be heard saying that he was warning Maibes’ boss that the phones at the business might be “blowing up,” from people upset about Maibes’ tweets.

Maibes says in the video that beside Novara, her boss only received one phone call from a woman who complained.

The St. Louis Police Officers Association released a statement in response to allegations that Novara tried to “intimidate a local activist.”

The union’s business manager Jeff Roorda said it has hired an attorney specializing in First Amendment rights to represent Novara.

“It is confounding to us as an organization of law enforcement professionals that apologists for the so-called ‘peaceful protestors’ in Ferguson and the Shaw neighborhood defend throwing bricks, bottles and rocks at police officers as ‘freedom of speech or freedom of expression,'” the statement reads. “Then, those very same people feign righteous indignation when a police officer who is fed up with the corrosive, anti-police rhetoric that this particular agitator has made in a public forum on social media, exercises his freedom of speech and freedom of expression in a truly peaceful manner.”

In the release, Roorda says Novara and other officers have received death threats, had threats made against their children or have been subject to cyber-attacks.

“All of this for the mere act of setting the record straight on public statements made by people spreading irresponsible lies and calling for violence against the police,” he wrote. “Police officers are not second-class citizens. They enjoy First Amendment rights and every other right that is enjoyed by every other citizens and we will aggressively defend those rights to our last breath.”

Stephen Deere of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report

​Christine Byers is a crime reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

 

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How in the holy hell can a police officer call a citizen of The United States Of America’s employer to inform that employer that their employee is practicing her 1st amendment rights…in hope of getting said employee fired…..for practicing her 1st amendment rights? I’m confused. When did America become The United States Of AmeriKKKa?

 

When did law enforcement agencies in AmeriKKKa decide they have the right to harass and intimidate American citizens who use their Constitutional rights? You see this Ferguson war is a lot deeper than race. It’s not Black against caucasian but instead is freedom & liberty against slavery & control and violation of The United States Constitution.

 

 

First Amendment to the United States Constitution

 

The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

 

Allow me to repeatabridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble.

 

Ms. Leigh Maibes, aka @stackizshorthas every right under the 1st amendment of the Constitution, to protest peacefully, to transmit a live stream covering the peaceful protest in Ferguson, Missouri (especially since main stream media can not be trusted to report fair and accurate news) and not have her employment in jeopardy while she does so.

 

If this is permitted to happen to her, it indeed will happen to you, me and any American citizen who has need to protest injustice in AmeriKKKa. Show Your Support For Ms. Leigh Maibes, aka @stackizshort as she battler Officer Keith Novara and the entire South Patrol/Ferguson/St Louis Police Department.

 

shortstack

I’d rather die on my feet, than live on my knees.

 

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The Twitter Storm™


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The Twitter Storm™

The Twitter Storm™

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Steve Harvey’s Emotional Chat With Michael Brown’s Mom, Ms. Lesley McSpadden. Ferguson Grand Jury Investigated For Misconduct.


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From The Steve Harvey Show:

 

“I Haven’t Any Time To Myself To Grieve.” Mike Brown’s Mother Lesley McSpadden Opens Up On Steve Harvey Show

 

An emotional Lesley McSpadden, the mother of slain teen Michael Brown appeared on the Steve Harvey show, to open up about what she has been through since the passing of her son: 

 

“I was at work, I got a call from my sister’s mother. She said ‘They shot Mike Mike!’ I didn’t want to think he was dead. All I could think was run, just run. I ran back into my job and told them get me to him. The first thing I seen that let me know he was dead was the yellow tape. I wanted to see him, to know it was really him and the cop told me no. For four and a half hours they told me no.” she said tearfully.

 

Next Steve asks her where does she find comfort these days: 

 

“Prayer. My other children”

 

When asked has she had a chance to grieve she says: 

 

“No. This is public. This is so public. Most people get to grieve in silence. I haven’t had any silence.I haven’t had any time to grieve at all.” 

 

Steve then speaks about teaching his sons how to interact with police so they don’t become victims with tears starting to pool in his eyes: 

 

“And for those out there who have to do like I do, because I have three sons and every time an incident happens like this, we have to go over, we have to go over the things again. Why do I have to teach my sons to assume the position? Why do I have to teach my sons “10 and 2,” palms up? I have to teach my son, when the window goes down, show both hands on both sides. Why am I teaching my sons this?”

 

Steve Harvey’s emotional chat with Michael Brown’s mom

 

Published on Sep 30, 2014

It’s a story we all remember. None of us could miss the headlines and the national issues it dug up; violence, race and dignity. They’re topics we must talk about as a society but we can’t let that overshadow the loss Michael’s family is going through right now, the grief they can only hope to one day overcome.

Steve talked with Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown’s mom, about overcoming grief.

 

 

#Ferguson grand jury being investigated for misconduct

#Ferguson grand jury being investigated for misconduct

 

From The Washington Post:

 

Grand jury considering the Ferguson shooting is being investigated for misconduct

 

By Kimberly Kindy

 

The St. Louis County prosecutor’s office is investigating an accusation of misconduct on the grand jury that is hearing the case against the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

 

Ed Magee, the spokesman for county prosecutor Robert McCulloch, said they received the information from a “Twitter user” Wednesday morning.

 

“We are looking into the matter,” he said.

 

An account of possible jury misconduct surfaced Wednesday morning on Twitter, when several users sent messages about one juror who may have discussed evidence in the case with a friend.

 

In one of those messages, a person tweeted that they are friends with a member of the jury who doesn’t believe there is enough evidence to warrant an arrest of the officer, Darren Wilson.

 

The same person who tweeted about being friends with a member of the jury has also tweeted messages of support for Wilson.

 

Magee confirmed that the Twitter user and feed came from an activist, Shaun King.

 

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The jury has been weighing evidence on the case since Aug. 20, within days of the Aug. 9 shooting. McCulloch told The Washington Post last week that both the FBI and county police’s investigations into the shooting are “pretty much done.” He also said that jurors should be done hearing all the evidence by later this month, but they could meet through mid-November.

 

Grand jury proceedings are confidential and if there has been a breach, the prosecutor’s office may have to start over with a newly empaneled group.

 

Meanwhile, Ferguson is grappling with continuing protests amid the wait over whether Wilson will face charges.

 

Attorney’s for the Brown family did not immediately respond to requests for commentregarding the investigation into the grand jury. 

Reached on Wednesday evening, King told the Post that the potential link was further evidence that the current legal proceedings may be flawed.

 

“At a time where so many people in Ferguson already don’t believe that Prosecutor Bob McCulloch will take this case seriously, this potential leak is a disaster,” King said. “If it’s found to be true and the Grand Jury has to be dismantled, McCulloch should be taken off of the case immediately and replaced with a special prosecutor.”

 

-Wesley Lowery contributed to this report

 

Kimberly Kindy is a government accountability reporter at The Washington Post.

 

 

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