According to a video of a man claiming to be the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau intends to sell the 200 Nigerian school girls captured two weeks ago. In this video, Shekau says, “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah.” Boko Haram means “Western education is sin.” Throughout the video, Shekau tells girls not to focus on education, that instead their focus should be on getting married. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has vowed to rescue the girls from their current captors. According to reports, the girls were taken when a group of men overpowered the school security guards. They pulled the girls from their beds and put them in the back of trucks. The abduction has sparked an international movement to find the girls and return them to their homes.
Fears for the fate of more than 200 Nigerian girls turned even more nightmarish Monday when the leader of the Islamist militant group that kidnapped them announced plans to sell them.
“I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,” a man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video first obtained by Agence France-Presse.
“There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women,” he continued, according to a CNN translation from the local Hausa language.
Boko Haram means “Western education is sin.” In his nearly hourlong, rambling video, Shekau repeatedly called for Western education to end.
“Girls, you should go and get married,” he said.
The outrageous threat means the girls’ parents worst fears could be realized. Parents have been avoiding speaking to the media for fear their daughters may be singled out for reprisals.
“Wherever these girls are, we’ll get them out,” Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan vowed Sunday.
But he also criticized the girls’ parents, saying they weren’t cooperating fully with police. “What we request is maximum cooperation from the guardians and the parents of these girls. Because up to this time, they have not been able to come clearly, to give the police clear identity of the girls that have yet to return,” he said.
Weeks after the girls were kidnapped April 14, Africa’s largest country seems to be no closer to finding them, triggering complaints of ineptitude — some of which is expressed on Twitter with the globally trending hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.
On Sunday, about 100 demonstrators gathered outside the Nigerian High Commission in London, chanting, “Bring them back!” and “Not for sale!”
Crowds from Los Angeles to London rallied on Saturday as well.
“Access to education is a basic right & an unconscionable reason to target innocent girls,” former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote Sunday on Twitter. “We must stand up to terrorism. #BringBackOurGirls.”