The first missing Chibok schoolgirl to be found after the mass abduction of hundreds of students from their dormitories in 2014, told her mother that "God has made it possible for us to see each other again," in a brief, yet emotional, reunion at their family home in northern Nigeria. Amina Ali Darsha Nkeki was found carrying her four-month-old baby on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest – a Boko Haram stronghold – on Wednesday (17 May).
According to reports, the 19-year-old was recognised by a member of the Joint Task Force (JTF), a vigilante group set up to repel Boko Haram, of which has now rebranded itself as the Islamic State's West African Province (Iswap). After Nkeki was rescued, she was taken to her parents' house, according to JTF leader Aboku Gaji, who recounted the emotional moment in an interview with the BBC.
"When we arrived at the house... I asked the mother to come and identify someone. The moment she saw her, she shouted her name: 'Amina, Amina!' She gave her the biggest hug ever, as if they were going to roll on the ground, we had to stabilise them," said Gaji.
"The mother called the attention of other relations to come out and see what is happening. The girl started comforting the mother, saying: 'Please Mum, take it easy, relax. I never thought I would ever see you again, wipe your tears. God has made it possible for us to see each other again'", he added.
After a short but emotional reunion with her family, Nkeki was separated from them as she was moved 80 miles south to Maiduguri to speak to authorities. She is due to be flown to the capital, Abuja, to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari today (19 May).
Nkeki was able to tell her brother, Maina Ali, about the moment she was rescued from the clutches of Boko Haram. "They brought her into my father's compound," Ali said, relaying her ordeal. "I was surprised to see her. They asked if I know her. I said I do. They asked if she knows me – she told them that I was her senior brother. I then asked what happened, [and] she told me that the camp where she was being held was attacked yesterday so she ran until she saw a group of men. She tried to hide, but they had already spotted her.
"They asked her why she was trying to hide from them. She told them that she was fleeing from her camp that had been attacked. They asked what her name was and she told them, and also told them that she was among the Chibok girls that were taken in 2014. They asked if she could take them to her father's house if she was taken to Chibok and she said yes, she can. So they brought her to Chibok and people identified her there. I am very happy to see her."
The 2014 mass kidnap of 276 schoolgirls by Boko Haram gunmen sparked global outrage. At least 57 managed to escape after they were loaded onto trucks, but 218 girls are still missing.