Sunday, November 9, 2014

Shocking Revelation: How Nigeria's military detained a 300 level student as Boko Haram suspect for over 3 years

Salisu Adamu

A 300 level chemistry student at the University of Maiduguri, Salisu Adamu, has narrated to SaharaReporters how Nigeria's military illegally arrested, detained and tortured him and thousands of innocent Nigerians for more than three years as part of the countermeasures against Islamist Boko Haram militants who have waged war in Nigeria's northeast zone.

Mr. Adamu who hails from Biu local government area of Borno state became one of 39 indigenes of and three foreigners who were handed over to the Borno State government last Thursday after thorough investigation by the military revealed that they had no links to Boko Haram.

In an exclusive interview with SaharaReporters just after his release, Mr. Adamu narrated his experiences. Excerpts below:

I was arrested in my house in Wulari Street in Maiduguri. I can still remember vividly that it was 16th April 2011. I had come back from school and had my dinner. I was sleeping when I heard a knock on my door around 9 p.m. I asked who was at the door. Some people said, "Open the door!" When I opened it, I saw them [the military]. I wondered what had happened. Then they said I should not worry, I should come with them, that it was just questions and answers. I said ok, no problem! They took me to 21 Armored Brigade (Giwa Barracks). So I was there for more than three years.

While I was in detention there, I saw many people pass away. For me, it sometimes seemed that it was the end of my life but I kept praying for God's mercy to fall upon me.

I never knew that there would be a day like this where I would be free. I saw hell.

I feel so happy and excited. Today is the happiest day in my life. After such a long period of time in military detention, you should know what one would have undergone. I saw hell, but to be candid I also consider myself the luckiest person because many died.

I recall March 14th of March this year when Boko Haram attacked Giwa Barracks. It was around 6:45 a.m. We went out to bathe and started hearing gunshots. After our baths, we returned to the cell. We felt it was the kind of normal testing that the military usually does, but the gunshots became unbearable. So I heard loud deadly weapons. We didn't know what to do and to say, but we started praying that God should save us. However, the next thing we heard was "Allahu Akbar!" meaning, "God is Great!" So they [Boko Haram] came and opened the cells and freed everyone, but about eight of us managed to hide ourselves in the kitchen. That was how we could escape Boko Haram.

Looking back to my experiences in detention for three-and-a-half years, I lack words to describe what happened. My eyes saw things and I went through an unbearable situation, but I thank God that I am finally free.

The next step for me is how to go back to the University and finish my education because I was in 300 levels when this happened.

Source: Sahara Reporters

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