The students are among an estimated 2,000 girls and boys abducted by the Boko Haram since the start of 2014, with many of those abducted used as sex slaves, fighters and even suicide bombers, according to an Amnesty International (AI) report.
But when Yama returned the missed call that evening, a man answered. Yama hung up and rushed to the home of Yakubu Nkeki, chairman of the Association of Parents of the Abducted Girls from Chibok.
“He asked me what he should do,” Nkeki, 58, a schoolteacher, whose 17-year-old adopted daughter Maimuna Yakubu Usman is among those missing, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Nkeki took the phone and redialled the number that was again answered by a man who said the phone belonged to his wife.
Reporting the matter to any of the armed personnel around Chibok was out of the question, so instead they informed a campaigner with the Bring Back Our Girls group, which advocates the return of the missing girls “now and alive”.
“We don’t know who to trust,” said Nkeki who has received physical threats for his efforts to keep the abduction of the Chibok girls in the headlines and the government’s sights with the abduction becoming a political issue for Nigerian leaders.