Some of the women who were recently freed from the captivity of the Islamist extremists popularly referred to as Boko Haram have narrated their grim ordeal in the Sambisa forest.
They told a shocking story of how the terrorists came to the villages, killed older boys and men in front of their families and then the women and their children were taken into the forest.
Although over 200 of the women and children were rescued, the women made a grim revelation of how some of those earlier kidnapped died of hunger and disease.
They spoke to Reuters after being handed to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) at a refugee camp in Yola where they are being fed and treated for injuries.
One of the freed women, 24-year-old Asabe Umaru, said, “If you needed the toilet, they followed you. We were kept in one place. We were under bondage.
“We thank God to be alive today. We thank the Nigerian army for saving our lives.
“When we saw the soldiers we raised our hands and shouted for help. Boko Haram who were guarding us started stoning us so we would follow them to another hideout, but we refused because we were sure the soldiers would rescue us.
“Every day we witnessed the death of one of us and waited for our turn.”
Another freed captive, Cecilia Abel, told how she witnessed the gruesome slaughter of her husband and first son by the insurgents before the militia forced her and her remaining eight children into the forest.
In her own narration, she said, “We were fed only ground dry maize in the afternoons. It was not good for human consumption.
“Many of us that were captured died in Sambisa Forest. Even after our rescue about 10 died on our way to this place.”
A source from the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Mohammed Aminu Sulieman further disclosed that the freed prisoners were fed bread and mugs of tea as soon as they arrived at the government camp. Nineteen were in hospital for special attention.