15 May 2017
A 14-year-old female suspected suicide bomber has revealed that Boko Haram leaders chose her to detonate an improvised explosive device in Maiduguri because she refused to get married to their members in Sambisa forest.
The suspect was among three suspects arrested by the military when they allegedly came on suicide mission at a military facility in Jakana in Maiduguri.
Narrating her ordeal to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Maiduguri on Sunday, the teenage girl said she was sent on the mission to detonate the device because she refused marriage proposals from three Boko Haram terrorists.
The suspect said she was abducted with her father, Usman, by Boko Haram insurgents in Gwoza, Borno, in 2013.
She said both of them were running to the Mandara Mountain for safety when they were abducted.
The suspect said she and her father wanted to travel to Madagali in Adamawa where he normally sold cows before the Boko Haram insurgents attacked Gwoza.
“I have spent three years in the hands of Boko Haram. Three different Boko Haram (terrorists) had proposed to marry me and I refused. Two among them were commanders (amir).
“When I refused for the third time, one of the commanders became furious and threatened to kill me and my father. I told him I would rather die than marry a Boko Haram (terrorist).
“So, after one week, they said since I have refused to get married, I should be taken to Maiduguri for a suicide mission. So three of them held my hands and they injected me.
“Then, I never knew what was happening again.
“I was taken to a herbalist, who after I regained consciousness, told me that I had been with him for 30 days.
“He told me he was preparing me for a mission. So, he gave me some water to drink. I don’t know what it tasted like but I drank it. Then he said they would come and pick me later today.
“At about 7 p.m. three Boko Haram (members) came with a male and a female. They were also recruited for the mission like me.
We spent one and a half days on the road to Maiduguri. It was when we got to Maiduguri that they strapped the bombs on our bodies. At that moment, I knew that I was going to die, so I started crying.
“I was watching when the first bomber, a female, detonated her explosive close to a military checkpoint which killed no one but herself. The second, a male, was killed by the military before he could detonate his.
“At that time, something told me to remove my own IED and surrender which I did. I was surrounded by soldiers and policemen and I fainted.
“When I woke, I discovered that one of the policemen at the checkpoint was my mother’s brother. I think that was the reason I survived,” the suspect said.
Meanwhile, Major-General Lucky Irabor, the former Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole has said the suspects were being de-radicalised at the military detention facility.
“We have quite a number of them here in our facility. We have been profiling them and making them feel comfortable.
“So far, from their testimonies, they usually tell us that they were brainwashed by some sort of charms to commit suicide,” Irabor said.