A recent Boko Haram video has confirmed that some of the girls abducted from their school in Borno preferred to stay with the group than to be reunited with their families.
A video purportedly sent to Ahmed Salkida – a Boko Haram expert and published by an online news portal, Sahara reporters showed a group of four females covered in full-length Muslim veils and wielding AK47 rifles.
An unseen Boko Haram member poses questions in the Hausa language whiles one of the four girls who gave her name as Maida Yakubu answered. She gave the name of her parents as Esther Muntari (mother) and Yakubu Kaago (father).
We don't want to reunite with our parents because they are not worshipping Allah, and I urge you to join us.
“We don’t want to reunite with our parents because they are not worshipping Allah, and I urge you to join us,” she said. She added: “We have not been forcefully married to anybody. Marriage is based on your wish.”
After the recent release of 82 of the abducted girls, mediator and lawyer Zannah Mustapha said some of the abducted girls refused to be released, fuelling fears that they have been radicalised.
Boko Haram has killed about 20,000 people and forced more than 2 million people to flee their homes since 2009 in an insurgency aimed at creating a state adhering to strict Islamic laws in the northeast of Africa’s most populous nation.
The militant group also carries out cross-border attacks in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.