Amina Ali Nkeki was calm as she recalled her two years of torment while held captive by Boko Haram terrorists.
She was 17 when she and 274 other girls were abducted from a school in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria in 2014.
“They came in the night. They shot sporadically into the air. They gathered us together. They threatened to kill us if we didn’t do what they said. They quarreled among themselves. At the end, they decided to take us away,” Nkeki said.
She was sexually assaulted and faced other abuse at the hands of the Islamic State-linked militants before she managed to escape last year.
“I never thought I would live to see another day,” she said. “That I am alive today is a miracle.”
Now she is preparing for another miracle. An American church has agreed to send Nkeki and four other young women who escaped from the clutches of Boko Haram to a Christian school in Southern California — Hope International University.
The costs for the women’s travel expenses, plus tuition and housing that could amount to more than $30,000 a year will be paid by the Church of the Servant King in Gardena, Calif.
The church sponsored 35 Cambodians in the 1980s. Congregants decided it was time to reach out again to someone overseas, said Rich Read, the senior pastor. “For us, faith is action,” he said.
Nkeki is currently studying at the American University in Nigeria, a private school unaffiliated with the U.S. government. When she learned about the church’s offer this year, she instantly knew that forgetting her traumatic experience would be easier in the United States.
“I just couldn’t believe my ears,” Nkeki said. “I just can’t find words to describe how I felt. It was a message of a new life.”
Most of the captured Chibok girls have escaped, but more than 100 are still missing. Despite the success of the #BringBackOurGirls movement to highlight the plight of the students, their parents are at wits’ end.
“We have been trying to appeal to our local leaders, but no one seems interested in briefing us about any effort or action by the federal government to secure the release of our daughters,” a group of parents wrote to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in a recent open letter. “We feel neglected.”
Since Boko Haram launched its military offensive in 2009, more than 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2 million others displaced by the terror group in Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon and Niger, according a recent United Nations report.
Boko Haram insurgents still run rampant throughout the northeastern reaches of this West African country. But Nigerian forces have tightened their noose around the group, recently announcing that the militants had been eliminated throughout Borno state.’
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Source: USA Today