After Spending 18 Months in Captivity, Borno Aid Worker Regains Freedom, but Battles Societal Stigma

Jummai Inuwa, a Borno-based air worker spent 18 months in Boko Haram custody after she was abducted alongside other travelers.

She was returning from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State to Damaturu, Yobe State, when the terrorists seized the car conveying her and other passengers.

Jummai narrated her ordeal in Burbushin Rikici, a weekly podcast produced by HumAngle.

After spending 545 days in the terrorists’ den, she regained freedom. Jummai also facilitated the freedom of five other captives [women].

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The aid worker said her captors have no sympathy for them as their lives means nothing to them. She recalled a time she fell sick, saying no one attends to her.

“When we were held captive, no one cared about us. They don’t care whether am alive or dead. When I fainted and regained consciousness, the other captives told our captors about my situation, they just asked whether I was alive or dead. They don’t care, if I was dead they would just bury me and that’s all,” said Jummai.

She would not fall sick again, but had to endure inhumane treatment by the terrorists.

That was not the end of the Jummai’s tragic ordeal. Like many people who regained freedom after spending a long time in captivity, their immediate society mostly reject and leave them to suffer in anguish.

Jummai also felt the same. She believes being a captive is better than being with a society that doesn’t value her.

In captivity, she recalled sharing cries and laughters with her fellow captives. That seemed impossible now.

“When I was held captive, I have other women colleagues whom we were held together and we care for each other. We used to laugh and cry together, prayed and encouraged each other. But now that am free, I was left alone to solve my problems myself”.

“Am not saying life in the bush under the captors is the best,” she explained. ”What I am saying is the way people talked about you without considering your weakness makes me feel like it is my fault for being abducted.”


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