• en

Societal Stigma: People Abuse Us, Call Our Children Boko Haram Kids, Says Released Chibok Girl Amina Ali

Amina Ali discusses her journey post-Boko Haram abduction, and how she faces discrimination, economic struggles and educational challenges.

One of the abducted school girls, Amina Ali, who escaped captivity of Boko Haram militants, speaking on her life after the incident, has named societal stigma as one of her biggest challenges since her release.

Ali who was 17 when she was abducted, in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Friday, said as she struggled to rebuild her life, her problem is discrimination encountered from those unaware of the trauma endured by survivors, especially those of them who came out with children.

“I was 17 years old when we were abducted. I have faced a lot of challenges, more especially being a mother. My mum is not young enough to work or farm to help me and also, I lost my dad and my brother is not good at his business to help me. I struggle to take care of my child. The challenge I face from people is a lot, especially those of us that came out with children. People usually abuse us, call us names and especially our children; they call them Boko Haram children and that made me leave Chibok. It is not easy.

“Due to the number of people that Boko Haram had killed that we can’t even count, they have destroyed Chibok local government and some of my friend’s parents and cousins, because of this incident, we lost them. We faced a lot of challenges.”

Ali further called for some support to cater for her child and old mother as the economic hardship is taking a toll on her.

“The name calling still hurts me but I especially need a lot of support for my child. Things in Nigeria are now very expensive. Now I am the one taking care of my child and mother too and sometimes, even my brother too who lives in Lagos, I am the one that sends the school fees of his children who attend public school.

“Since I left Chibok to where I am now in Yola, during the holiday, I do farm to get little help to take care of my child. Sometimes, when there is no school, I go out to look for work like washing for people and then when some people hear my story, they contact me to help me. My child is eight years old.”

She further made a plea for patience and more understanding from her colleagues and teachers in her new school as she didn’t have the right educational background to catch up as quickly as others do in school.

“We also face the issue of discouragement because of how we speak. Sometimes the problem of speaking English is not our fault because of the foundation of the school we started from. Back in Chibok, some of our teachers used to teach us in language and in Hausa too. We didn’t even know how to speak from jss1 to SS3. We just started learning to speak English after we came out of captivity.

“So, we are not good at that. So, in our present school, instead of encouraging us, they discourage us and anything we do is not appreciated and when we meet some of the school authorities, they say we are government children that should be grateful that the government spends Nigerian money on us and not complain about how people treat us. We don’t have anybody to complain to that will listen to us.”

Chioma Kalu

Follow us on: