Nigeria kidnapping: Freed Zamfara schoolgirl keen to return to school

A girl abducted from a secondary school in Nigeria’s Zamfara state says that despite her horrific ordeal, she is keen to return to school – but not until the security situation improves.

Speaking to BBC Hausa, the girl, who we have not identified for own security, described her terror the night gunmen seized 279 of them and marched them into the forest but said the experience won’t stop her education.

“I really want to go back to school because I want a bright future – but we need government to deploy permanent security forces to our school before I can have the courage of going back,” she said.

She described how the loud bangs and gunshots that woke them up at around 01:00 last Friday, as armed men broke into her hostel, left most of the students in shock.

“We thought it was our teachers that had come to wake us up for morning prayers.

“Then there were gunshots as the men came into our hostel – at which point we were all screaming,” she said.

The men then threatened to shoot whoever continued screaming, terrifying the girls further.

The girls were then taken to the assembly ground and asked to point out the other hostels by their captors.

“Some of them stayed with us while the others went to the remaining hostels and got the other students. Then they ordered us out of the school, shooting into the air, and marched us into the forest behind the school,” she said.

Most of the girls had no shoes as they walked for miles among thorns through the forest, some had only a night dress on, while one had managed to snatch her bedding from the hostel. It would later save a colleague from the cold.

All 279 girls that were abducted by the gunmen who attacked the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe have now been released.

The girls who have now returned home were exposed to further trauma on Wednesday when armed forces reportedly opened fire at the reunion with their parents.

At least three people were reportedly shot at the official handover ceremony but it is unclear if there were any deaths.


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