News / Africa

Nigeria's Boko Haram Threatens to Sell Kidnapped Schoolgirls

Muslim women attend a demonstration calling on the government to increase efforts to rescue the 276 missing kidnapped school girls of a government secondary school Chibok, in Lagos, Nigeria, May 5, 2014.
Muslim women attend a demonstration calling on the government to increase efforts to rescue the 276 missing kidnapped school girls of a government secondary school Chibok, in Lagos, Nigeria, May 5, 2014.
VOA News
The Islamist militant group Boko Haram on Monday claimed responsibility for kidnapping more than 200 schoolgirls in northeast Nigeria last month and threatened to sell them, while protesters continued to press the government to rescue them.  

“I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,'' Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in the video, according to the French news agency AFP.

Boko Haram on April 14 stormed an all-girls secondary school in the village of Chibok, in Borno state, then packed the teenagers onto trucks and disappeared into a remote area along the border with Cameroon.

The militants kidnapped more than 300 teens, Nigerian police sources previously had indicated. Of those, 53 reportedly escaped and 276 still are captive. An intermediary for Boko Haram said two of the captives have died of snakebites and 20 are ill, the Associated Press reported on Monday.  

The teens' abductions have embarrassed the government and threaten to overshadow its first hosting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) for Africa. The three-day gathering is scheduled to open on Wednesday.
 
Nigerian officials had hoped the event would highlight their country's potential as an investment destination since it became Africa's biggest economy after a GDP recalculation in March.

Protest leader arrested
 
On Sunday, authorities arrested a leader of a protest staged last week in Abuja that had called on them to do more to find the girls. The arrest has further fueled outrage against the security forces.

Naomi Mutah Nyadar was picked up by police after she and other demonstrators met with President Goodluck Jonathan's wife, Patience, concerning the girls.
 
Nyadar was taken to Asokoro police station, near the presidential villa, said fellow protester Lawan Abana, whose two nieces are among the abductees.

Police were not immediately available to comment on the incident, but a presidential source said Nyadar had been detained because she had falsely claimed to be the mother of a missing girls. Abana denied making the claim.
 
In a statement, Patience Jonathan denied local media reports that she had ordered Nyadar's arrest, the state-owned News Agency of Nigeria said.
 
She also urged protesters in Abuja to go home.
 
“You are playing games. Don't use school children and women for demonstrations again. Keep it to Borno, let it end there,” the agency quoted her as saying.

Demonstrations continuing
 
More protests were planned for Monday. These could become a major headache for the government if they continue during the economic forum, where security arrangements will involve some 6,000 army troops.

On Sunday, Nigeria’s president said the government was doing everything possible to rescue the girls but admitted he didn’t know where they were.
 
“Let me reassure the parents and guardians that we will get their daughters out,'' Jonathan said.   

A father of one of the teens told VOA he felt helpless. "We cannot do anything," the unidentified man said. "... So what are we going to do? We just keep on praying and fasting. ..."

Unconfirmed reports say some of the girls have been "married" to their captors, while others allegedly have been moved across the border into Cameroon and Chad.

Boko Haram, now considered the main security threat to Africa's leading energy producer, has grown bolder. The kidnapping occurred on the same day as a bomb blast, also blamed on Boko Haram, that killed 75 people on the edge of Abuja and marked the first attack on the capital in two years.

The militants, who say they are fighting to reinstate a mediaeval Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria, repeated that bomb attack more than two weeks later in almost exactly the same spot, killing 19 people and wounding 34 in the suburb of Nyanya.

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by: F. Wakefield from: Moresburg
May 06, 2014 1:05 PM
These Arab/Muslim slave traders have been operating in Africa for centuries.....they see this trade as business as usual....Goodluck Johnathan has been a disappointment....the Nigerian army should be able to wipe these bandits out in short order....why does he not act? Must be Nigerian tribal politics to blame....we all know the forest they operate in....round them up!


by: adeola from: lagos
May 06, 2014 12:26 PM
boko haram are just acting a script over nigeria in other to distract the government,their sponsors are coward fightin 'ant in an elephant posture'.i pray God will touch the heart of their commandant to repent ASAP


by: Haslina from: Australia
May 06, 2014 5:17 AM
I am so ashamed to be call a muslim. I don't know how he can proudy said all those things and thinks it is okay to hurt innocent girls. What a monster.....


by: John Shep
May 06, 2014 4:55 AM
Good gesture on the part of the U.S. offering to help Nigeria. But the crucial question really is: where is the government? Nigerian government? A government that receives over $100 billion annually in petroleum sales but has no effective police force or military. Ninety percent of that money is stolen and stashed away in foreign bank accounts. I am in support of the U.S. helping only because of the fate of the school girls, as otherwise I would have said let the Nigerian government deal with it themselves, if at all they give a damn. Unfortunately, the truth is they do not give a damn. Talking about help, the only way the U.S. should help is with drone technology. Don't give financial assistance, since the government officials will simply share it and return to foreign bank accounts. Don't bribe anyone that claims to have information.


by: Tina from: America
May 06, 2014 4:23 AM
Those girls rescue should be the number one priority for the country! This is outrageous and if you want your summit meeting to improve your status prove you are not a savage, rescue those girls and forever protect them...


by: Frederick1337 from: USA
May 05, 2014 4:12 PM
"In the case of religion, ridicule it, destroy it, create various sects/cults that distract people from true religion, keeping oneself with the DIVINE CREATOR, and create fake religious organizations." Not an exact quote, but pretty close, from Yuri Bezmenov A very high level KGB defector and propaganda expert lecturing on "subversion". http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5gnpCqsXE8g


by: Peter Okechukwu from: Lagos, Nigeria
May 05, 2014 3:00 PM
It is about time Nigeria modernised it's security forces. In these past years, they have shown lack of grasp in this whole Boko Haram saga! For now, Nigeria needs help to get those girls rescued fast


by: Nikos Retsos from: Chicago, USA
May 05, 2014 1:45 PM
It is about time to state it deliberately that Islamist groups have become the curse of Islam. And it is about time for the Imam's and Islamic clerics to condemn openly those practices by Islamist militants that offend the mankind as a whole, as well as degrading the human dignity of woman. Prophet Mohammed has stated unequivocally that "the ink of the teachers are more precious than the blood of the martyrs, " on quote. Therefore, shooting girls for going to school, or kidnapping them from schools and rape them under the pretext of marriage, or sell them - as the Boko Haram said it intends, is not only a crime against humanity, but it is also a violation of Prophet Mohammed edicts.

I have abstained from condemning Islamists over the years because some Islamist imams and mullahs have complained that we offend their religion. No, Gentlemen! I don't offend your religion. I am offended by how you have been distorting the tenets of Islam to treat women as domesticated animals. Nikos Retsos, retired professor


by: Bull Winkle
May 05, 2014 1:01 PM
Let me guess, Boko was created by CIA to give US a pretext to invade Nigeria... A country with a lot of oil


by: VS Dude
May 05, 2014 12:42 PM
The world continues to fear the effects of Christianity while allowing this atrocity to take place. Such blindness!

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