Nigeria's abducted girls 'married off', 'taken abroad'

By Rafiu Ajakaye, Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Locals said some of the girls had been moved to Chad

Locals said some of the girls had been moved to Chad

LAGOS - Some of Nigeria's abducted schoolgirls have reportedly been married off to Boko Haram insurgents and some have been taken to neighboring countries, according to local residents.

Haruna Pada, a resident of Chibok, the area from which the girls had been abducted, said the local community had tried "to no avail" to open a channel of communication with the abductors to release the girls.

"But the feedback we are getting is that some of them [girls] have been married off to interested suitors, some of whom have taken them out to neighboring countries such as Niger, Chad and Cameroon," Pada told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

On April 14, militants stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, located on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest – a known Boko Haram hideout – in the restive northern state of Borno.

They loaded scores of schoolgirls onto their trucks before driving away unhindered.

Two weeks later, the exact number of the missing schoolgirls remains dogged by controversy.

The local authorities say 129 girls went missing that night, including 52 who have since returned. Some parents, however, claim a total of 234 schoolchildren were abducted.

"Some of the girls have been ferried through Baga to Chad yesterday night," Musadiq Aruwa, another Chibok resident, told AA.

Baga is a town close to Lake Chad, which is surrounded by Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.

Aruwa, who said Boko Haram activities are not as hidden as is being portrayed in the media, ruled out that all girls could have been moved out of the country.

"Every Boko Haram camp has women kept there, women they had abducted," he said.

"So the whole 234 girls cannot be moved abroad. Every group would take their share to their various camps," Aruwa added.

Awesu Nda, a local car washer in Baga, said locals had seen some school-age children being ferried to adjourning Chad neighborhoods.

"Those taking them carried guns and charms; the sort Boko Haram fighters are seen with," he told AA.

"But we cannot say precisely if these children are the same Chibok secondary school girls that were said to have been kidnapped," Nda said.

"But the likelihood is very high since those girls are not from here."

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