May 5, 2015 – Chibok Girls Sold Into Slavery, Others Married Off As Child Bride To Boko Haram Militants For N2000 Each
It is sad to know that the much awaited return of over 200 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram last year may never happen as the terrorists have sold off the girls into slavery.
One of the women rescued from Sambisa Forest, 45-year-old mother of two, Aisha Abbas told Reuters that the girls might have been sold off or married to top sect members as promised by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.
According to Reuters, none of the women interviewed saw any of the Chibok girls, but Abbas said fighters who travelled from a camp in Sambisa where they were held to source food would describe the situation.
“They said the Chibok girls were married off this year. Some sold to slavery, then others (militants) each married two or four of the girls,” Mrs. Abbas said.
Mrs Abbas, who was taken from Dikwa, Borno State in April, speaking on the weapons situation with the militants, said the fighters all had guns at first but recently, only some carried them.
Even the wife of their captors’ leader, Adam Bitri, openly criticised him and subsequently fled, two of the women said, with one describing Bitri as short and fat with a beard.
Boko Haram is fracturing as shortages of weapons and fuel foment tensions between its foot soldiers and leaders, women rescued from the Islamist jihadi fighters by Nigerian troops told Reuters.
The group abducted an estimated 2,000 women and girls last year as it sought to carve out an Islamic state in the northeast.
The militants began complaining to their captives about lacking guns and ammunition last month, two of the women said, and many were reduced to carrying sticks while some of their vehicles were either broken down or lacked fuel.
Of the 275 freed captives brought to a government-run camp for internally displaced people in the Malkohi hamlet on the outskirts of Adamawa State capital, Yola, only 61 were over 18, and many small children hobbled around, visibly malnourished.
Relieving their experience in the forest, the women said they were kept inside, occasionally brought food and sometimes beaten severely. The children were left to run around or do errands for Boko Haram while those of the fighters were trained to shoot guns.
“One evening in April, Boko Haram followers stood before us and said ‘Our leaders don’t want to give us enough fuel and guns and now the soldiers are encroaching on us in Sambisa. We will leave you.’” one of the women, 18-year old Binta Ibrahim from northern Adamawa State said.
“They threatened us but after they went we were happy and prayed the soldiers would come and save us.”
The women said once the militants spotted two helicopters circling at noon on the day of their rescue, they began trying to sell the women for up to 2,000 naira (about $10) each. Towards evening, as the army approached, the captives refused to flee with Boko Haram fighters, who began stoning them but then ran away.
“We heard bullets flying around … we lay on the floor. Some of the women were crushed (by army vehicles) and others wounded by bullets. Eighteen were killed. We counted them, they included infants,” Salamatu Mohamed from the Damboa area in Borno said.
Hanatu Musa, a 22-year old mother kidnapped in June from Gwoza in Borno State, quoted the fighters as saying their leader had deceived them into fighting and killing in the name of religion.