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News / Thoughts

Chibok girls will not be released

November 4, 2014

The abducted Chibok girls are all now married and converts of Islam, Boko Haram have said in a recent video. A man claiming to be Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said: “We have married them off and they are all in their husband’s houses… The over 200 Chibok girls have converted to Islam, which they confess is the best religion. Either their parents accept this and convert too or they can die.”

The Nigerian government claimed to have killed Shekau in 2013, and that his body double was also killed in September. According to a Reuters report the video was shot in classic Boko Haram style but the speaker was recorded from a distance, too far to distinguish his face.

The speaker in the video further denied the existence of a ceasefire agreement with the Nigerian government and denounced Danladi Ahmadu, the man supposedly representing Boko Haram in talks with the Nigerian government in Chad. “We don’t know anybody by the name of Danladi. If we meet him now we will cut off his head,” the man in the video says. “All we are doing is slaughtering people with machetes and shooting people with guns … War is what we want.”

There was no immediate response from the government.

Further unrest

Insecurity in the northeast of Nigeria continued last week as Boko Haram militants seized Mubi in Adamawa State on 29 October. Mubi is Adamawa State’s second largest town and commercial hub.

The militants killed dozens of people and forced thousands to flee when they stormed the town, robbing banks, burning down the main market and seizing the palace before hoisting their black flag over it. “I saw many dead bodies in the bush and many injured people were lying helpless, especially children and women,” James Audu, a student, told Reuters.

The attack was performed with the brutality that has come to be associated with Boko Haram. “The son of the district head who is a staff of judiciary was beheaded in the presence of his father,” reported Isaac, an Open Doors researcher.

A witness, Aduraman Kwacham, told BBC’s Africa Today program the military has retreated as barracks have been seized. Many are trapped in Mubi, as Boko Haram have blocked all access routes to the town. Kwacham broke down in tears as he spoke about the conditions family members left in Mubi are facing. “There is no water, no food…I tell you, the situation is very bad in my place.”

Thousands flee

Thousands of Christians fleeing Boko Haram attacks in southern Borno state had found refuge in Mubi, but the town has been in danger of attack for some time. A month ago reports of approaching militants caused thousands to flee the town.

Many of the displaced people have fled to Cameroon (30km away) or headed for the displaced people’s camp in Yola, the Adamawa State capital. Even there many do not feel safe; Boko Haram have been threatening to take Yola soon, causing many to leave for Numan, a town about 48km from Yola.

“We received several calls from the displaced people’s camp in Yola asking for prayer for God to intervene in their plight. We know of at least 16 children who have lost both their parents in the attacks on villages. With the new threats targeted at Yola, their fate is unknown,” reported Isaac.

Source: Open Doors; BBC; Reuters

Please pray…

  • For God to strengthen our abducted Chibok sisters and send his Holy Spirit to comfort them, even in the midst of their very dark circumstances
  • For strength for the parents of the Chibok girls
  • For provision for the children who have been orphaned and the thousands who have been displaced by the recent attacks
  • For wisdom and determination for the government find a solution to the insurgency

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