President Muhammadu Buhari gave out N5000, two wrappers, and a pair of shoes to the Dapchi schoolgirls during their visit to the Presidential Villa after their release by the Boko Haram insurgents, one of the pupils, Fatima Abdullahi, has revealed.
According to The Guardian newspaper of United Kingdom, the girls’ testimony was collected a week after their liberation and a few days after their visit to Abuja, where they were immediately taken to Buhari.
“They gave us drinks and food and chicken. Afterwards, they took us out and we took a picture with the president. The president gave us gifts of two wrappers, a pair of shoes, and 5,000 naira (£10) each,” Abdullahi told the British newspaper.
Speaking of their ordeal, The Guardian reported that Leah Sharibu, the only girl said to be a Christian among the schoolgirls, managed to escape from Boko Haram only to be caught and brought back three days later.
“She didn’t tell us she was leaving. We thought she was just going round the corner, but she sneaked out along with Maryam and Amira (two classmates),” one of the released girls, Aisha Ibiwa, said.
The newspaper added that after walking for three days, the three hungry and exhausted girls approached a Fulani family, asking for their help to get to Dapchi.
Unfortunately, for the girls, the people took them back to the camp of the terrorists, according to Hajara Adamu, one of Sharibu’s schoolmates.
“The Fulani man said to them, ‘So you are the missing girls that we’ve heard about on the radio?’ He gave them a jerry can filled with cow’s milk and brought them back. Leah and her group weren’t flogged. They (Boko Haram) said it was because they had suffered a lot while trying to escape,” Adamu said.
Adamu had tried to escape too but she was caught and punished along with some of her friends.
The report said when she tried to run away, she was whipped and frog-marched back to the camp with a gun at her back.
“They started laughing at us and even insulting us, saying that we wanted to go back to the land of unbelievers,” she recalled.
They were given 10 strokes each using tree branch and a leather whip.
“It wasn’t painful. But we had to pretend it was, but not cry, because they said whoever cried would get twice as many strokes,” Adamu stated.
She told The Guardian the reason the beating was not painful was because she and some of her friends had hidden blankets under their hijabs to reduce the impact of the flogging.