More than 200 Chibok schoolgirls were kidnapped by an Islamist militant group in 2014. The news drew massive criticism and started the global campaign #BringBackOurGirls. Two years later, one of the handful of girls who has made it back has testified that she believes God will save her schoolmates just as He saved her.
Amina Ali, 21, was the first Chibok schoolgirl to go home last May after a brutal terrorist kidnapping by Boko Haram. She was found together with her four-month-old baby in Borno state near Damboa by a vigilante group working with soldiers in the area.
Despite having safely returned home, Ali confessed that her classmates were still on her mind. The Islamist group recently published a video showing a dozen Chibok girls, and a masked man announcing that some of the girls were killed in air strikes.
"I think about them a lot â€“ I would tell them to be hopeful and prayerful," Ali said in an exclusive interview with Reuters.
She added that the militants did not frighten her because her faith in God was much stronger than her fear, "I am not scared of Boko Haram â€“ they are not my God." She said she was strengthened by her experience and was confident that God will also rescue her classmates.
Ali shared that many of them starved and only had raw maize to eat. Some of the captives died in captivity while others suffered leg injuries. She also had classmates who turned deaf because they were kept too close to the explosion areas in the Sambisa forest.
While in captivity, Ali was married to a suspected Boko Haram militant named Mohammed Hayatu. He reportedly told a witness that he had also been kidnapped by the terrorist group.
In an interview with CNN, Ali disclosed, "I'm not comfortable with the way I'm being kept from him." Updated reports said that she escaped together with her husband and were found with their daughter in the outskirts of the Sambisa forest.
Hayatu was detained in a military site and is undergoing interrogation headed by Nigeria's intelligence agency.
Ali said she did not know where her husband is and wants to be reunited with him. "I want you to know that I'm still thinking about you, and just because we are separated doesn't mean I have forgotten about you," she added.
Ali is currently staying in a secluded house and going through a "restoration process" under the Nigerian government in Abuja capital. Reports said that she is eager to go home.