A 14-year-old female suspected suicide bomber who was arrested by the Nigerian military says she was sent on the mission because she refused to marry Boko Haram fighters in the Sambisa Forest.
The suspect, said she was captured alongside her father, Usman, in 2013 on their way as they were fleeing from their town in Borno to Madagali, in Adamawa State for refuge.
According the News Agency of Nigeria, she was one of three suicide bombers that allegedly came for a suicide mission at a military facility in Jakana in Maiduguri.
She said: “I have spent three years in the hands of Boko Haram. Three different Boko Haram (fighters) 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.
Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Lucky Irabor, said there are a lot of such persons who had been arrested and are currently undergoing de-radicalisation programmes 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,” Irabor said