LAGOS, Nigeria — Aid workers and parents of the girls who were kidnapped from a school in 2014 lashed out at the Nigerian government and military Thursday for their handling of the first of the so-called Chibok girls to escape the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.

Tuesday’s escape brought joy and renewed hope but also increased pressure for the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to rescue 200-plus other students who were seized in the mass abduction that outraged the world.

On Thursday, Amina Ali Nkeki, who was found nursing her 4-month-old baby on the fringes of Boko Haram’s Sambisa Forest stronghold, was flown to Abuja to meet with the president.

A second girl believed to be among the Chibok abductees was rescued Thursday evening, army spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman said in a late-night statement.

The information could not be independently confirmed, and Yakubu Nkeki, chairman of the Chibok Parents Association and uncle of Ali, said he had heard the report but had no information about it.

Ali, 19, was shielded from journalists when she arrived at the presidential villa, her mother carrying her baby. She was shown into Buhari’s office for a private hour-long meeting. Television cameras and photographers were allowed in briefly afterward.


A presidential statement said Buhari’s feelings were “tinged with deep sadness at the horrors the young girl has had to go through at such an early stage in her life.”

On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram stormed and firebombed the Government Girls Secondary School at the remote northeastern town of Chibok after a handful of soldiers ran out of ammunition and ran away from about 200 extremists. They seized 276 girls preparing for science exams. Dozens managed to escape in the first hours. Until Tuesday, 219 remained captive.

Ali revealed to her mother that a few of the girls died in captivity, but most remain under heavy guard in the forest, according to family doctor Idriss Danladi.

“Bring back our girls – now and alive!” about 40 men and women chanted Thursday evening at a rally of the movement, which has inspired a worldwide social media campaign using the hashtag (hash)BringBackOurGirls.

“No more excuses. And no failure is acceptable,” Oby Ezekwesili, a founder of the movement, told the gathering. “We can rescue our Chibok girls. What happened with one can happen with 218.”

Ezekwesili criticized Buhari for admitting he has not seen a proof-of-life video that Boko Haram sent to the government months ago in a bid to open negotiations to exchange the Chibok girls for detained Boko Haram leaders. It was the first indication in two years that some of the girls are alive.She called for Buhari to mobilize countries such as the United States, France and Britain in a reinvigorated effort to find the girls.

Chibok parents were outraged that the military had “paraded” the young woman beside the Boko Haram commander who took her as his wife, Ezekwesili said.


Ali has told her mother that the man, Mohammed Hayatu, rescued her, deserting Boko Haram and leading her out of the forest because the camp had run out of food and they feared their baby would starve to death, according to Danladi. The military said Hayatu is detained for interrogation.

Buhari’s government also was lambasted by Washington-based Refugees International, which said Ali should be getting immediate care for rape and psychological counseling, instead of making public appearances.

Buhari’s statement said medical personnel and trauma experts had examined Ali on Wednesday for five hours. The president promised that she would get the best medical care and education available.

The Associated Press does not normally identify suspected victims of sexual assault, but Ali appeared publicly alongside the president and was seen widely on television. Buhari’s statement identified her by name.