A Nigerian mother who was held captive by Boko Haram for three months said she escaped the terrorist group by pretending to be insane. Naime Buba, who currently lives in a NYSC government camp in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, was taken hostage from her hometown of Bama in September 2014 after repeated attacks from the insurgents. “My husband was killed in front of me — he was slaughtered by 10 men,” said Buba. “My house was burned down. Lots of people were killed.”
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After three months of captivity, Buba said she facilitated her escape by convincing the insurgents to let her go. “I had to pretend that I was insane, that I was mad, by putting dirt on my body and everything,” explained Buba. “Once I started portraying madness I was no longer of use to them. It was that easy. They were able to let me go.” Released by the insurgents, she walked for three days with her five children, barefoot and without food, before finding safety.
Buba said she still wakes regularly from nightmares where she’s still in Boko Haram’s clutches, and that while conditions are rough in the camp, she’s thankful to be there. Buba said she’d like to go home, but that NGOs say the region is too dangerous to return. And without her husband, who supported her, she said she was unsure how she would even survive if she went back.
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