‘I was forced to lie between the corpses of my father and brother’ – 15-year-old Boko Haram survivor opens up

by Zara Mustapha


Deborah Peter is the only surviving member of her family after they were attacked by Boko Haram insurgents on December 22, 2011. Miss Peter said her mother had graduated from Federal Government Girls College Chibok, Borno state, where over 200 girls were abducted by the terrorist sect.

She said this while testifying before the committee in Washington, DC, adding that she would never returen to Nigeria as a result of the ugly experience that she had when the insurgents carried out an attack that led to the death of all her family members in Borno State.

US House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Boko Haram - The Growing Threat to Schoolgirls, Nigeria, and Beyond

Peter said: “On December 22, 2011, about 7pm, my brother and I were at home when we started hearing some guns shooting. My brother called my dad and told him not to come home because some people were shooting guns. But my dad said he should not worry because it was not the first time he had come home when people were fighting. When my dad came home, he said that he was going to take a shower because he was hot.

Leadership News reports:

She continued: “At 7:30pm, three men knocked on the door. My brother answered the door because he recognized one of the men as a Muslim in our community. The men asked where my dad was and I told them he was in the shower. The men waited. After three minutes, they went into the bathroom and dragged my dad into the main room. They said that my dad was wasting their time and that they did not have time to wait on him. The men told my dad that he should deny his Christian faith. My dad told them that he would not deny his faith. They said that if he did not deny his faith they were going to kill him. My dad refused, saying that Jesus said whoever acknowledges him in front of man will be acknowledged in front of God. My dad said he would rather die than go to hellfire. After he told the men that, the men shot him three times in his chest.

“My brother was in shock. He started demanding, ‘What did my dad do to you? Why did you shoot him?’ The men told him to be quiet or else they were going to shoot him too. Then, the men discussed whether they should kill my brother. One of the Boko Haram people said they should kill Caleb, my brother. The second man said that he was just a boy and that he was too young to be killed. But the third man said that they should make an exception in this case because Caleb would only grow up to be a Christian pastor. Caleb asked me to plead with them for his life but they told me to shut up or they would kill me too. The leader agreed that they should kill him and shot my brother two times. My dad was still breathing but when he saw them shoot Caleb, he died.

“My brother fell down but was still alive gasping. The men shot him in his mouth. Then my brother stopped moving and died. I was in shock. I did not know what was happening. The men put me in the middle of my dad and brother’s corpses, told me to be quiet or be killed, and left me there. I stayed there until the next day when the army came. They removed my dad and brother’s bodies and took me to the hospital.

“I was traumatized. A nearby pastor paid for me to get out of town when he discovered that Boko Haram members said they made a mistake by not also killing me. Boko Haram decided later that they should have killed me because I am a daughter of an apostate Muslim mother who converted to Christianity. So the pastor paid for me to get out of that region. I fled and Jubilee Campaign helped me to come to a 9/11 Child Survivors Terrorism Camp in America. On May 15, 2013, that pastor, Rev. Faye Pama, was killed by Boko Haram in front of his kids.

My mum graduated from Chibok – Deborah Peters

“I decided to tell the world my story when I heard about the kidnapping of over 200 female students in Chibok because everyone needs to know how horrible Boko Haram is. And also my mum graduated from the school where they were kidnapped.”

Comments (0)

  1. The correct name of the school is Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok

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