Boko Haram will “sell your girls in the market”,
the terrorist leader has vowed in a chilling video
message to parents of the kidnapped Nigerian
Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Nigerian
Islamist group Boko Haram notorious for targeting schools,
claimed responsibility for the abduction of
hundreds of girls aged 16 to 18 from their
Borno state school in a video message released
by Agence France Press.
“I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the
market, by Allah,” Shekau said, according to the
news agency’s translation. “We are holding
people [as] slaves.”
The girls should be married, not in school, he
continued, according to the BBC.
“God instructed me to sell them, they are his
properties and I will carry out his instructions.”
Authorities searching for the missing girls say
dozens have escaped from their captors but
276 are still missing. They were taken three
weeks ago from their school in Chibok.
Last week, senior community leader Dr Pogu
Bitrus told Channel 4 News that he believed
many of the girls, who were mainly Christian,
were compelled to convert to Islam and
“forcibly married off with a bride price of just
2,000 Naira [less than £10].” He did not cite
But a different source, involved in the hostage
negotiations, told Channel 4 News that he
believes the girls will be returned safely for a
ransom. “It would not be hard to engineer a deal.
It looks like they want to release them,” he said.
As anger swells in Nigeria over the handling of
the case, and protest marches take place
across the nation, police arrested the leader of
a group that called on authorities to do more to
find the kidnapped girls.
Reuters reported that Naomi Mutah Nyadar had
been detained, suspected of falsely claiming
that one of the abducted girls was her
But local reports suggest the arrest was
connected with a meeting with Nigeria’s First
Lady Patience Jonathan, who had felt slighted
that the mothers of the girls did not come to
meet her, and were instead represented by
Mutah Nyadar, who is from the girls’ local Chibok
AP quoted community leader, Saratu Angus
Ndirpaya, as saying that Jonathan accused the
activists of fabricating the abductions in order
to smear her husband’s government.