Nigeria has suffered numerous suicide bombings in recent months carried out by girls and young women. That has raised fears that the insurgents are using kidnapped girls.
The girl told a news conference Wednesday night that she saw many people being buried alive at the Boko Haram camp where her father took her in Bauchi state, east of Kano.
She said her captors asked if she wanted to go to paradise and, when she said yes, explained she would have to be a suicide bomber.
“When I was told I would have to die to enter paradise, that I would have to explode a bomb and die, I said I cannot do it,” she said.
When they threatened to kill her, she allowed them to strap her into a vest primed with explosives, saying “I was afraid to be buried alive.”
Two other girls detonated their bombs at Kano’s textile market on Dec. 10. Police said the attack killed four people and wounded seven, including the girl.
In her confession, the frail looking Zaharau Babangida also said;
“in the Bauchi forest I met some other girls who I guessed were my age mate and their leader told us to give our lives to God and enjoy the bounties of heaven’.
I was not moved by the soul searching preaching of bounties in the heaven and it was at this point, their leader resorted to threat and intimidation to obtain my consent. We were shown a deep hole where the leader of the group threatened to bury us alive at a point if any of us refused to play along, and at another time he picked a big gun and threatened to shoot anyone who fails to obey his command.”
Zaharau who told reporters that she hailed from Damaturu, the capital city of Yobe state explained that “it was at this point my father stepped forward to persuade me to play along, and told me to prepare to die as martyr and clear the way for him to join me soon”.
The 13 years old girl who spoke fluent Hausa dialect further said “when I was confronted with option of death, I chose to play along hoping to find an escape route one day”.
Speaking on the Kano bomb blast, Zaharau Babangida said “I and two other girls were conveyed to Kano and quartered at the outskirt of the city by a man I could hardly remember his name, and this same man conveyed all of us to the market square and deployed us at strategic positions at Kwari market on the day we struck.
“I was taken aback when my partners were shattered to pieces barely a second after they detonated. I then rushed out of the scene to pick a commercial rickshaw to a hospital in Dawanau area of the city for medical treatment, and doctors were already attending to me when the driver of the Keke NAPEP resurfaced and showed me a metal object and requested to know whether it was mine of which I answered in affirmative.
“I told him the object he dangled before me is a bomb and its mine, and in no time armed soldiers picked me from my sick bed to their headquarters.”
Shinaba said she will remain in custody while investigations continue. He said they had been unable to find her father, who the girl said belongs to Boko Haram.
Father gave 13-year Daugther to Boko Haram for suicide bomb