Some of the rescued students told The Nation that 344 of them trekked all the way in the forest, hiding with the bandits as there was no vehicle to convey them.
Aliyu Husseni, a 19-year old SS2 student in the school, said he could not estimate the distance they trekked, saying that he was with his brother, Jani Husseni, who was kidnapped with him.
Aliyu said: “We trekked for eight hours non-stop. Only the younger ones among us did cry, and the bandits, in response, would raise their guns up and shoot in the air, saying they are Boko Haram and they acknowledged only Islamic knowledge.
”They took us to one big rock where we slept for just one hour before we continued to a big mountain where each time they saw a plane (aircraft) they would ask us to lie down.
“We fed on dates from that Friday that we were kidnapped. We were also eating an animal food from a tree commonly called ‘Kalgo’ in Hausa language. We ate that until Sunday evening when we were given potatoes and kulikuli (groundnut cake) before the journey continued.
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“We were crying because we were tired and hungry, but they would not listen to us.
”We later reached a place where we rested and were given the usual food. Once you collect your ration, they would beat you as you were going.
“Whenever we wanted to drink water, we did so like animals, putting our mouths to the ground.”
Asked whether ransom was paid for their release, he said: “I don’t know. But some are saying they collected while some are of the view that they did not.
”But they were talking on the phone until they finally took us on motorcycles to a safe ground and released us.
‘’Although we promised them that we would not return to school, we know that we are only loyal to the decisions of our parents. Whatever they say is what we will do.”