The story of the woman who countered extremism with her own extreme measures
Hassana was only 12 when her mom gently pushed her into a deep ditch in the backyard one morning in August 2014.
The push was not to kill her, but instead to save her from being becoming a child bride to the Boko Haram foot soldiers who had just invaded their hometown of Madagali in the northeastern Nigerian state of Adamawa.
Since 2009 when the death of its founder Mohammed Yusuf triggered the insurgency, hundreds of women and girls have been abducted, sexually violated or killed outright even as the sect continues to wage war against perceived ‘Western ideals’ including education for youngsters like Hassana.
In April 2014, the high-profile abduction of over 250 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok in the neighbouring Borno state made the headlines. The capture of many other girls remains under the radar; some of those …