Disappearance of girl who escaped Boko Haram raises new questions

The search for hundreds of missing schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram took a positive turn in May when one of the girls, Amina Ali Nkeki, apparently escaped with the help of her abductor. But since then, the girl hasn’t been seen or heard from, raising questions about her whereabouts.

In Nigeria, activists from Bring Back Our Girls and Chibok community leaders have expressed concern over the whereabouts of Nkeki, the only kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirl to escape from her Boko Haram captors.

CCTV’s Sophia Adengo has Insight.

When Nkeki escaped her captors deep in Boko Haram territory, hearts in Nigeria filled with hope that the other missing girls might be found.

It has been nearly two years since Boko Haram militants kidnapped 219 girls from their school in Chibok.

But when the authorities flew Nkeki to the capital, Abuja, for a televised meeting with Nigeria’s President, she disappeared.

The Bring Back Our Girls movement said no one has seen her since. Her family is outraged, and demanding answers.

“When Amina was found and they came to see the president,” Aisha, Bring Back Our Girls activist, said. “They all came together, the brother, the mother and Nkeki herself. After seeing the president they were separated until now, the brother has no idea where his sister is, or his mother, and he has cried out repeatedly.”

Marking the 800th day of the mass abduction, activists also asked the government to explain how they will help Nkeki recover from her ordeal.

Nigerian security officials said her seclusion is necessary to protect her and the other missing girls from retribution by Boko Haram.

“We have to give her all the necessary cover not to expose her and her whereabouts for the sake of security purposes,” General Rabe Abubakar, Nigeria director of defense information, said. “I believe once things normalize all Nigerians will come to know all the information got from her.”

The man who found Nkeki is believed to be a the father of Nkeki’s baby and a member of Boko Haram. His whereabouts are also unknown.

Last April, parents of the missing girls marched through Abuja wailing before Nigeria’s leaders, demanding they keep their promise to find the girls.

Now they are concerned about pushing too hard.

“We advised Nkeki’s family and asked them to be patient with the government,” Rebecca Taga, mother of a missing girl and chair of the Chibok Parents Association, said. “They are lucky. They’ve seen their own child. Now their daughter is alive. She is being taken care of. As for us, we cannot even do that!”

Rebecca said the pain she feels for her missing daughter Sarah is, “indescribable.”

Nigerian officials maintain that efforts to free the remaining 218 girls have not been abandoned. They said a major concern is the security of hundreds of other women and girls who are also held captive by the militant group Boko Haram. That may mean, for now, families may be forced to cooperate with Nigerian security authorities.