Joy Bishara and Lydia Pogu, ex-students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State, who escaped from Boko Haram in 2014, have graduated from Southeastern University in the United States.
Bishara and Pogu were among the 276 girls kidnapped by the insurgent group in the first mass student abduction witnessed in Nigeria on April 14, 2014.
The duo managed to escape captivity by jumping off the truck while they were being carted away by the kidnappers.
Bishara — with a degree in social work, and Pogu, a degree in legal studies — graduated on April 30.
Commenting on their ordeal and success, Bishara recalled how in a few seconds, she had to decide if she was going to die from an accident or in the hands of the insurgents.
“I remember thinking about what my mum would do at that moment then I prayed. I just remembered a voice in my head saying ‘jump out’. I knew I was going to die either way. I chose to die and that was how I jumped out,” Bishara told GMA3.
Asked how she felt on the day of her graduation, she said: “It was awesome, I felt great. I remember being told that I wasn’t going to be able to finish high school; that I was dumb. I never gave up or listened to all the negative talks. It was exciting to walk on that stage after being told ‘you can’t do it’.”
On her part, Pogu said she had decided against going back to school after her escape until she was contacted by the US embassy.
“I’m trying to get my masters in human services and going back to law school when I’m done with my masters,” Pogu said.
Both girls graduated from Canyonville Christian Academy in Oregon in February 2017, after which they met with ex-President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, 112 of the Chibok girls are still in Boko Haram captivity.