Source: Victor Brachie
When Okechuku decided to help Ezinwa escape from the hands of his colleague militants, he had it planned through the very moment his attention was drawn to the pain Ezinwa was going through. She had been bleeding because she had reached that part of the month where nature kept calling her attention to a normal but well-catered for situation. Her body was used to being catered for during such periods, but in the abnormal circumstances Ezinwa found herself, she cannot expect to do the normal things.
How will she cope with the excessive bleeding without sanitary pads?
That afternoon, somewhere in the extreme forest of Chad, Okechuku sneaked into where the girls had been kept, they panicked, then he rolled his hand on his lips to signal them to be quiet, then he saw Ezinwa seated at the far right corner of the huts. She was in tears and her uniform was too short now. She had been using part of it as sanitary pads to take care of her menstruation.
Okechuku signaled her to come over, but Ezinwa was scared. How could she trust a guy who was part of the militants who abducted them? How could she trust a member of the militant who raped and defiled her colleagues? But in her condition, there was very little option and she had to take her chances.
Okechuku looked back towards the entrance to check whether any of his colleagues were making it to the hut, but there was no one. He gathered courage and moved to where Ezinwa was seated, slowly he extended his hands to her and spoke in a Nigerian dialect, drawing the attention of the girls around. Okechuku wanted to help Ezinwa escape now, but if it failed, she would be killed and his noble intentions and effort will be in vain.
Then one of the girls drew the attention of Okechuku to the sound of some footsteps outside the hut, immediately Okechuku moved out of the hut to meet the militants who were moving towards the hut, they had decided to go ahead with whatever they wanted to do to these girls, for slavery or for marriage. But with all the efforts Okechuku tried, he failed, it was a decision agreed upon by the militant group to either sell the girls into slavery or marry them to rich merchants.
Seven girls were brought out, neither of these girls had knowledge what was going to happen to them. They were frightened. Ezinwa sat in the hut with her eyes on the girls, tears dropped down her cheeks. She was traumatized and seized with the idea of no hope. It had been three weeks and still counting, she had finally accepted there was no way she was going to be rescued.
Those girls were gone, none of the remaining girls had any idea where their friends had been taken.
Ezinwa still kept to her position, she did not change her location, with her eyes staring directly at the entrance and hoping nobody entered for the rest of her life.
Then late at night, Okechuku sneaked in again, this time with a couple of militants, who had been successfully convinced by Okechuku, how he did it, was something he could only share with us. They looked prepared for anything that could possibly happen in their decision to help the girls escape, but if these militants or better still “volunteering-let’s-go-against-Boko-Haram-rules” were caught, there are several things that could happen to them, which I cannot state.
Slowly Okechuku made it to where Ezinwa was seated and whispered something into her ears. Her eyes enlightened with both fear and joy. Immediately she gained energy and her readiness to cooperate was beyond measure. They had decided to help her escape. Ezinwa wanted to find out why Okechuku wanted to help her escape from the terrible hands of the militant group.
Slowly they sneaked out of the hut with Ezinwa, who had several thoughts and doubts running through her mind now, what if they were going to rape her and kill her afterwards, or whether they were going to sell her to a rich merchant who does his/her business at night.
After about 30 minutes run from where she had been kept by these militants group, they finally came to a river that separated where they stood from another land across the river, then Okechuku gave her a piece of paper and asked her to follow it. Ezinwa looked at Okechuku and thanked him, what else could she do, nothing, and besides she had to keep on running until she reached a safe destination.
She jumped into the water without thinking twice about what could possibly be in the river, swimming her way to survival. She eventually got to the bank of the river feeling washed and clean for the first time in four weeks.
She turned her back and saw no signs of Okechuku and the other guys, she kept on running. Some distance away, she came to a cross road. At the other end, she could hear a tata bus making its direction to the south. At first she did not know what to do.
She came to the road and started waving her hands for help. Then something occurred to her. She could remember the face of the guy who brought her out of her class. That ugly, heartless man who slapped her before pulling her on the floor to the same tata bus but with a different color.
Then men on this new bus jumped down and began to chase Ezinwa. She was confused now. Where could she run to? She gathered momentum and focus. She also took to her heels; equally a good athlete as were the men. She was tired and wanted to give up, but something kept her going, her zeal to get home, her passion to tell her story about some militants who have what it takes to be human, she was anxious to survive, but the chase was still on.
Far from the direction she was running towards, she saw other gun men in military uniforms, she counted her stars and hoped they were not Boko Haram. She screamed for help, over and over again until one of the uniformed men heard her and alerted his colleagues. They run towards her and eventually saw her assailants. They knew who they were, insurgents of Boko Haram. Immediately bullets began flying, the military men were able to overcome these insurgents and were able to save the life of Ezinwa.
Ezinwa had been lost in the gun battle and completely fell unconscious. After she regained her consciousness, the entire statement she could make was, we can’t find them now, but there are good men in Boko Haram who saved my life and they can equally do same for the other girls…