TVC N. A 14-year-old would-be suicide bomber has revealed how Boko Haram terrorists draft young girls to detonate explosives to kill.
She survived after choosing not to detonate an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, after being strapped with it and sent on a mission to kill.
According to her, she was sent on the mission after she refused marriage proposals from top Boko Haram members in Sambisa Forest.
She is among three suspects arrested by the military when they allegedly came for a suicide mission at a military facility in Jakana, Maiduguri.
She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri yesterday that she was abducted alongside her father, Usman, by Boko Haram insurgents in Gwoza, Borno State, in 2013.
She said she and her father were running to Mandara mountains for safety when they were abducted.
The suspect said she and her father wanted to travel to Madagali in Adamawa State where he sold cows before Boko Haram insurgents attacked Gwoza.
“I have spent three years in the hands of Boko Haram. Three different Boko Haram chief (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. So, he said they would come and pick me today.
“At about 7p.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 a brother of my mother’s. I think that was the reason I survived,’’ the suspect said.
The outgoing Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor, 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 – Gen. Irabor said.
Also yesterday, the Army arrested a suspected terrorist who had been on the run at Fika Local Government Area of Yobe State.
Army spokesman Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman said in a statement that four suspected kidnappers were also arrested at Mundu village in the state, following a tip-off.
“They were found to be in possession of one locally made six-loader single barrel gun, one empty cartridge, two machetes, a knife, two handsets, two packets of tramol tablets and N360,” he said.
He further said that investigation into the arrests would continue.