No, it’s not a movie. It’s real!
On April 15, members of a Nigerian group called Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sin,” in Hausa, abducted more than 200 girls, ages 15 to 18, in a pre-dawn raid which occurred at the Government Girls Secondary School in the northern town of Chibok. At least 53 girls have since escaped, while the rest are allegedly being sold as brides to local militants, according to the girls’ relatives.
In a video obtained Monday by The Associated Press, Abubakar Shekau, a man claiming to be the leader of Boko Haram, took credit for the kidnapping. He threatened to attack more schools and abduct more girls. The hour-long video starts with fighters lofting automatic rifles and shooting in the air as they chant “Allahu akbar!” Unverified reports stated that some of the girls have been forced to marry their abductors — men who paid a nominal bride price of $12 — and that others had been brought into neighboring Cameroon and Chad to be sold as slaves. In the video, Shekau says the students “will remain slaves with us.” and “They are slaves and I will sell them because I have the market to sell them.”
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan met with security, school and state officials claiming that “everything must be done” to free the 276 girls left in captivity by the Islamic extremists. However, weeks after the kidnapping, he appears to be no closer to finding the children. The government’s perceived ineptitude has ibrought on international protests and the globally trending Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.
Now, in a johnny-come-lately move, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday finally made an offer to assist in the rescue of the schoolgirls, but it’s still unclear whether the Nigerian government will accept his offer. Reports are attributing this reluctance to the African government not wanting American troops in their midst. In the meantime Holder has also ordered an intelligence assessment of Boko Haram, which the United States designated as a terrorist organization back in November 2013. Reportedly the group is receiving training from al Qaeda and its affiliates and is responsible for the death of thousands of people in Nigeria since 2009.
Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday during a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, “Let me be clear, the kidnapping of hundreds of children by Boko Haram is an unconscionable crime, and we will do everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes.”
The world’s biggest oil exporter, Al Queda cells, a brash abduction of hundreds of Nigerian school girls to be sold off into slavery… if you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were watching an international espionage drama. But the anguish on the faces of the girl’s families are real. This Abubakar Shekau, who talks and acts like a caricature of some Islamic terrorist, has pulled this abduction off and has stayed out of reach of the law for weeks. How is he able to cross over borders into neighboring countries with 276 girls in tow, unnoticed? And now reports are coming out of Nigeria that Shekau is offering to negotiate ransoms for the girls! Incredible.
President Obama is uncharacteristically quiet on the issue as we hear primarily from the Attorney General and the Secretary of State. I’m wondering if it’s because when he does have to speak on it, the situation will have turned deadly — then POW!! — America will be headed towards Nigeria to take down Al Qaeda cells there and whatever else actions it might want to take (Think oil, and why not? China and Europe are already there marking their claims to Nigerian black crude.)
There’s no doubt in my mind that theses girls have been kidnapped, but who is the real mastermind behind this horrific abduction? Shekau, the proclaimed leader of Boko Haram, seems like an egotistic, ignorant, grandstanding madman. A criminal like this shouldn’t have been able to escape capture for as long as he has.
I don’t like it. Something just ain’t right.
photos (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba File)
Go to https://twitter.com/News247Nigeria for the latest news on the aductions of these Nigerian schoolchildren.