Hafsat Mohammed went into schools and markets, organised a conference and set up her own NGO in her mission to tackle extremist narratives
Abuja, Nigeria – On a long, barren road in north-eastern Nigeria, Hafsat Mohammed, squeezed into a public minibus, saw the gunmen materialise from the bush like a mirage.
The 33-year-old was on her way to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State and the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency, when two Hilux pickups swerved onto the road ahead.
The minibus stopped. Men in combat fatigues and balaclavas emerged from the first pickup and aimed their guns at the wind shield. They ordered the passengers out onto the hot tarmac. The second pickup sped off towards a nearby village.
The men beat the passengers with their guns, jeering and calling them names as they did so.