Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist militant group has now threatened to sell the schoolgirls it abducted three weeks ago.
In a video obtained by the AFP news agency, the militant leader Abubakar Shekau has admitted for the first time that his group had taken the girls.
On 14th April 2014, Boko Haram abducted about 230 girls from their boarding school in Chibok, in the northern state of Borno. All the girls aged between 16 and 18 years, are still missing. Nigerian government has come under strong criticism for not doing enough to trace the girls.
Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden”. The group has carried out many deadly attacks in northern Nigeria.
Abubakar Shekau said in the video that the girls should not have been in school in the first place, but rather should get married. “God instructed me to sell them, they are his properties and I will carry out his instructions,” he said.
President Goodluck Jonathan who finally broke his silence since the girls were abducted, admitted that they did not where the girls were. He however assured that they were doing everything possible to trace them. “We promise that anywhere the girls are, we will surely get them out,” he said.
It is unclear why the president waited for weeks before addressing the nation over the school girls’ abduction. Many believe the government has never been seriously committed to freeing the girls.
Of late there have been reports that some of the girls were forced to marry their abductors. Other reports indicate that they have been taken to Cameroon and Chard.
Demos have been held all over the world urging the Nigerian government to trace the girls and bring them back to their families.