03/22/2012 Nigeria (Compass Direct) – Nearly seven months after their 24-year-old daughter disappeared during a wave of Islamic extremist violence here, Helen and Dakim Gyang Bot can only assume that the voice on the other end of her cell phone that told them “we have killed her” was telling the truth.
The body of Simi Maltida Kim has not been found, and those who answered the active Catholic’s cell phone shortly after she disappeared on Sept. 1, 2011 did not indicate why they killed her. But there are signs that she was one of the hundreds of victims of Islamic extremist violence in northern Nigeria last year that has driven thousands of Christians to flee.
The Bots live in an undisclosed town near Jos, in Plateau state, but their daughter was a final-year student of Science Laboratory Technology at the Federal Polytechnic, in northeastern Nigeria’s Bauchi state. She had told them of an instructor there who humiliated her because of her Christian faith, they said.
“She told us that this Muslim teacher would summon her and then question her faith, or even bring in some Muslim students to confront her over her Christian faith,” said her mother, Helen Bot. “When she told us this, we advised her to keep away from the Muslim teacher as much as possible.”
“We communicated on the phone almost on a daily basis, and whenever I called her, even if she was sleeping, she would wake up and call me back,” she said. “So it was unusual that day when I phoned her several times and she did not respond.”
Dakim Gyang Bot, Kim’s 59-year-old father, told Compass that when she did not return home the next day, the family was all the more anxious because news had filtered into town that Christians were being killed in Bauchi city.
“We learned that many Christians were killed in Bauchi at that time, so we are convinced that she must have been killed, too,” he said.
He described Kim and her parents as faithful and prayerful.
“In fact, in the past six months, her parents have been on their knees praying for her even with the knowledge that she must have been killed by Muslim militants,” he said.