The Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok in April may not make it home. The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau said in a recent video that there has been no cease-fire in Nigeria (as the media has been reported) and that no agreement had been made to free the girls. He also announced that the girls had all been converted to Islam and married off, squashing any hopes that the girls would come home anytime soon. “The issue of the girls is long forgotten because I have long ago married them off,” Shekau said in the video while laughing. “They have now memorized two chapters of the Quran.”
Reportedly, in the video received by the Associated Press, Shekau is seen in a camouflage tunic and pants with the white flag of the Al Qaeda in tow. Standing by him are masked and armed fighters in front of four military pickup trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns. Shekau continued, “If you knew the state your daughters are in today, it might lead some of you … to die from grief,” addressing the parents of the girls and young women they kidnapped. It’s being reported that the authenticity of the video still hasn’t been confirmed, but there have been several attacks on many villages in Nigeria. In fact, the Nigerian military (who have been known to lie about everything) claim that the videos are being made by a look-alike.
It’s very sad, considering everyone, including some of the missing girls’ parents thought their daughters were coming home. Hamidah Amira, 36, whose 17-year-old daughter was kidnapped said, “I was very excited when I heard the news — I will finally reunite with my daughter.” However once Boko Haram continued to abduct dozens of young women and teenagers in northeast Nigeria and continued to launch attacks that forced people to flee.
In the video, Shekau warns, “You people should understand that we only obey Allah, we tread the path of the Prophet. We hope to die on this path … Our goal is the garden of eternal bliss.” We don’t know what to believe anymore. The Nigerian military will say one thing, news reports will say something else, but what remains is that these girls aren’t home.
This tragic and huge abduction attracted international outrage, with demands that Boko Haram free the girls via hashtags and celebrities with signs on red carpets. The Nigerian government and military’s failure to secure their release has brought criticism that President Goodluck Jonathan isn’t doing anything to help the girls. Jonathan claims because of the delicacy of the tragedy, any moves they make have to be strategic.
“We found that the Nigerian government has never interviewed these girls, never really found out or learned what they’ve gone through, never attempted to do any kind of investigations,” said Rona Peligal, Human Rights Watch deputy director for the Africa Division. “They were kind of left on their own.”
We really hope these girls can make it home, but it’s just not looking too good for them.