The leader of the Chibok Elders Forum has reportedly stated that he knows the rough whereabouts of the secondary school girls abducted from Chibok in the Nigerian state of Borno. Boko Haram has married them off to members of the community living in Chad and Cameroon. Each girl had a bride price of 2,000 Niara, the equivalent of around $12 US.
Dr. Pogu Bitrus told local media that the girls were taken to the neighbouring countries by canoes and sect members began bidding on the ones they wished to wed. After the dowry was paid to their captors, there was a mass marriage and the girls were taken away.
Reportedly, many villagers witnessed the girls being loaded into canoes and then ferried across the river. Last Sunday, they were taken to the area of Dikwa, where Boko Haram is said to be currently located. One of the girls came from a village close to the border with Cameroon, and so members of her family glimpsed her as she was taken away.
Dr. Bitrus has also said that when the girls were moved in trucks on two weeks ago, local villagers saw them and reported the incident to the military stationed nearby. Some of the girls were still wearing their school uniforms. The villagers first tried to get the senator of the area on the phone, and when that failed they went directly to the military barracks at Bama to report what they saw. But they were told that they must put their report in writing, which they were told was the procedural process. However, they said that the matter was not taken any further. Locals are now enraged by the lack of effort of the part of the Nigerian army. Dr Bitrus commented that “nobody did anything” in order to help the young girls.
Sources in the neighboring nation of Cameroon have also come forward to say that the abducted girls are mostly located in an area where Boko Haram has a base. The now married girls are very unhappy and said to be “crying day and night.” Dr. Bitrus is angry that nothing has been done to rescue the school girls. He reportedly said that the kidnapping of the girls seemed to be Boko Haram trying to score political points, which they have succeeded in through the “inactivity of the government.”
So far though, Boko Haram has not come forward to claim responsibility for the abduction. They have however accepted responsibility for other recent activities, such as the bombing in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.
Nigerians are planning to protest against the lack of action taken against Boko Haram. They are said to be meeting in Abuja to march on parliament and demand that the militants are dealt with.
When local government bodies were contacted regarding the missing schoolgirls, they made a statement saying they were not avoiding or ignoring any information given to them in regards to Boko Haram. They are said to be analyzing all the information and acting accordingly. However, in the case of these missing girls who have now been married off to their captors, it may be too late to save them from emotional and physical suffering.
By Sara Watson