Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls Taken as Brides by Militants, Relatives Told

Monica Mark, Guardian (London), April 29, 2014

For two weeks, retired teacher Samson Dawah prayed for news of his niece Saratu, who was among more than 230 schoolgirls snatched by Boko Haram militants in the north-eastern Nigerian village of Chibok. Then on Monday the agonising silence was broken.

When Dawah called together his extended family members to give an update, he asked that the most elderly not attend, fearing they would not be able to cope with what he had to say. “We have heard from members of the forest community where they took the girls. They said there had been mass marriages and the girls are being shared out as wives among the Boko Haram militants,” Dawah told his relatives.

Saratu’s father fainted; he has since been in hospital. The women of the family have barely eaten. “My wife keeps asking me, why isn’t the government deploying every means to find our children,” Dawah said. The marriage reports have not been confirmed officially, and rely on eyewitnesses.

The 14 April abduction of the girls–students aged between 16 and 18 who were sitting a physics paper at their school, one of a handful in troubled Borno state that had opened specially for final exams–shocked a nation inured to violence during a five year-insurgency.

Desperate parents launched their own rescue attempts in the 60,000 sq km Sambisa forest where the girls were being held. Security sources told the Guardian that at least three rescue attempts had been scuppered.

This week, former prime minister Gordon Brown, the United Nations’ special adviser on girls’ education, will visit Nigeria to launch a campaign to raise funds and awareness of the schoolgirls’ plight. “We cannot stop terrorism overnight but we can make sure that its perpetrators are aware that murdering and abducting schoolchildren is a heinous crime that the international authorities are determined to punish,” he said.

Reports of the mass marriage came from a group that meets at dawn each day not far from the charred remains of the school. The ragtag gathering of fathers, uncles, cousins and nephews pool money for fuel before venturing unarmed into the thick forest, or into border towns that the militants have terrorised for months.

On Sunday, the searchers were told that the students had been divided into at least three groups, according to farmers and villagers who had seen truckloads of girls moving around the area. One farmer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the insurgents had paid leaders dowries and fired celebratory gunshots for several minutes after conducting mass wedding ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday.

“It’s unbearable. Our wives have grown bitter and cry all day. The abduction of our children and the news of them being married off is like hearing of the return of the slave trade,” said Yakubu Ubalala, whose 17- and 18-year-old daughters Kulu and Maimuna are among the disappeared.

The parents are planning a mass rally on Saturday to lobby the government for official updates rather than having to rely on reports from local people.

Nigeria’s armed forces face an uphill battle against the insurgents, who operate in small, mobile units and are drawn from communities that spill across the country’s porous desert borders. Near daily aerial bombardments have been halted as ground troops have poured into the forest in search of the girls.

“We are trying, but our efforts are being countered in a way that it is very clear they are being tipped off about our movements. Any time we make a plan to rescue [the girls] we have been ambushed,” said an artillery soldier among a rescue team announced by presidential decree over the weekend. In one clash, he said, 15 soldiers were killed by the insurgents.

“We know where these girls are being held in the forest, but every day we go in and come out disappointed. Definitely somebody high up in the chain of command is leaking up information to these people,” said the soldier, whom the Guardian was able to reach three times during shift breaks. Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, said in 2012 that Boko Haram had secret backers among government and security officials.

Another soldier deployed to Borno state said: “In my 13 years of service, I have never been in terrain this big and tough. There is desert and there is forest–you cannot imagine how difficult both of them are.”

He said there had been intelligence reports of the militants moving groups of girls to Marte–a known training camp–and to the Gwoza hills, a range of caves and valleys spanning the border with Cameroon.

The kidnappings have sparked debate on whether foreign intervention could help stabilise Nigeria. Officials have long ruled out such a move.

Nelson Uwaga, a representative at an official conference set up by presidential decree to discuss national unity as Nigeria celebrates a century of nationhood, said: “If countries can help us by way of arming our people through modern surveillance equipment, for defence and all that, it will be most welcome. [But] what the Boko Haram is doing is not a formal kind of fight but a guerrilla kind of fight, and it is only the local people that will tell you how to fight it.”

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • D.B. Cooper

    As soon as I realized that all of these girls were teenagers, I knew exactly why they were kidnapped. It’s not our business, is it?
    African men, this is your problem to solve, and the rest of us expect you to handle it on your own. However, I suppose if you happen to be one of the lucky grooms, then it’s not a problem at all from your perspective, is it?

  • Throughout history women have been plundered for their sexuality by invading armies. You can see the Mongol blood in many Eastern European women’s facial features, dark skin, and dark brown eyes. I hope the kind of altruistic white women we see here sometimes who end up raped and/or murdered by Africa have enough sense to stay away from this wretched war zone. As to the US and NATO–ain’t our fight, baby. Stay out.

    • Magician

      Many Eastern European women and Russian women I have met in my life are blond and also very beautiful.

      In terms of the ratio I feel there are more blonds in Eastern Europe than there are in America or Southern Europe per 100 people. Even in Nordic countries, there are not as many platinum blond people as we believe there are.

      Here are a couple of photos of Russian tennis players named Maria Sharapova and Elena Dementieva, and they both are beautiful enough to have a successful career as models.

  • Who Me?

    I’m surprised they actually “married” the girls. I had assumed they would be used then killed.

    • 4321realist

      They can still do that.

      • Sheik Yerbouti

        Legally!

  • IstvanIN

    Not our problem.

    • evilsandmich

      Who lets bandits make off with a school full of your own daughters? My impression is that they don’t feel that it’s much of their problem either.

    • Magician

      “Not our problem.” But coming soon to our neighborhoods happily funded and sponsored by our retarded politically correct governments

  • dd121

    This entirely consistent with “normal’ negro behavior.

    • MBlanc46

      They’d be doing it on the South Side, but, fortunately, we’re not as far gone as Nigeria. Yet.

      • Eventually they will be doing that to our daughters. I was once banished from this site for saying exactly what I want done to Islam, so I will content myself now with saying that self-defense is always moral.

      • Guest

        lol

  • Cannot Tell

    “The 14 April abduction of the girls–students aged between 16 and 18 who were sitting a physics paper at their school”

    My parents are Nigerians and the only part of the story that surprises me is the fragment of a sentence I posted above. I know many blacks who have excelled academically, but the fact remains that only a small percentage of blacks are intellectually capable of studying physics.

    Anyway, as always, I wish Nigerians the best of luck. I will continue trying to dissuade my mother from visiting the country and I will always be grateful that I was fortunate enough to be born in the U.S.

    • evilsandmich

      In my almost entirely white high school of 1000+ there were maybe two dozen or so students in the physics class. They probably would have had to had scoured half the county to get up to 230. (At least at the time, it wasn’t a required course to graduate so no one took it, except for those who had failed previous science classes…).

  • Petronius

    Whit huv we goat noo? Bluudy Gordon bawbag Brown? In Nigeria? Bluudy speshl exspurt wanker on gurls’ edjewkation? Nae ag’in lads, nae ag’in. I canna stan’ the bluudy tosser nae more, ye hear me lads?

  • trouble maker

    The negro idea of please be my Valentine.

  • 4321realist

    Nigeria!

    Another black-run paradise.

    When blacks takeover the US as they think they will, maybe they can be as successful as other black societies like Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans, Haiti, Sudan, Kenya, Philadelphia, Camden and Newark to name just a few real winners.

    • Urbane Neanderthal

      Blacks don’t have the population numbers or IQ numbers to take over the US.

      Hispanics will take over country soon enough though they will elect politicians who are 80-90% European as they do in most Hispanic countries now.

      Felipe Calderone and Vicente Fox the former and current Mexican presidents. Not exactly mestizos.

      • IstvanIN

        They may look like us but they will count themselves as “Latinos” and work to destroy us as the enemy. Just like they do in Latin America.

    • Urbane Neanderthal

      Blacks don’t have the population numbers or IQ numbers to take over the US.

      Hispanics will take over country soon enough though they will elect politicians who are 80-90% European as they do in most Hispanic countries now.

      Enrique Peña Nieto, Felipe Calderone, and Vicente Fox the former and current Mexican presidents. Not exactly mestizos.

  • Sloppo

    I’m sure that leading human rights activist Amanda Kijera would be able to explain how white patriarchy caused this black mob to kidnap and rape those black teenagers just like it caused that black Haitian man to kidnap and rape her all night a few years ago. Hopefully, these young black ladies will remember to express gratitude to their rapists as Amanda did.