A community leader involved in the negotiations to obtain the release of the schoolgirls abducted from Chibok in northern Nigeria has said more than 100 of them are unwilling to return home.
More than 200 girls were taken from a school in Chibok in April 2014 by members of the extremist Islamist Boko Haram group, who have held them in captivity ever since, forcibly converting many from Christianity.
After 21 of the girls were released last week – possibly following the payment of a ransom – Nigeria’s government is negotiating the release of another 83. But Pogu Bitrus, chairman of the Chibok Development Association, said more than 100 others appeared unwilling to leave their captors.
He said they were ashamed to return home because they were forced to marry extremists and have their babies.
Mr Bitrus said the freed girls have told their parents they were separated into two groups early on in their captivity, when Boko Haram commanders gave them the choice of joining the extremists and embracing Islam, or becoming their slaves.
The latter group – made up of 104 girls – never saw their classmates again. Mr Bitrus said they were used as domestic workers and porters but were not sexually abused. That group contain the 21 who were released last week and the 83 who the government are negotiating over.
He said the 21 girls freed last week might have to be educated abroad because of the stigma they will face in Nigeria.
The girls were reunited with their parents at the weekend and are expected to meet Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari tomorrow.
Source; Daily Mail