A 300-level Chemistry student of the University of Maiduguri, Salisu Adamu has narrated his horrible three and half years experience as a Boko Haram suspect in the hands of the Nigerian military. Based on Salisu, he’s among a large number of innocent Nigerians illegally arrested, detained and tortured by Nigeria’s military included in the countermeasures from the Boko Haram sect who’ve been waging war in Nigeria.
He was among 39 indigenes of Borno State and three foreigners that have been handed to the Borno State government last Thursday after thorough investigation by the military revealed that they certainly were not Boko Haram members. Speaking in an exclusive interview right after his release, Salisu said he was arrested on 16th April 2011 in his house at Wulari Street in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
“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.”
Salisu revealed he found nightmare whilst in detention and he found many people died. He remembered an event which occurred on March 14, 2014 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,” he said.
Salisu who expressed joy that he was free after a long time in military detention said though it sometimes seemed like the end f his life, he kept praying for God’s mercy to fall upon him.
“I never knew that there would be a day like this where I would be free. 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.
“Looking back to my experiences in detention for three-and-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.”
He explained that his next step would be to return to the University and finish his education that was interrupted as a result of his arrest and detention. Recall that authorities of 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Maiduguri had on Thursday handed over 42 Boko Haram suspects to Governor Kashim Shettima and also given them N100, 000 to let them subside in the society. Report later surfaced that another 125 suspects have been released.