Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped two weeks again are being sold to as wives to Islamic militants for as little as $12 each, it has been claimed.
Halite Aliyu, of the Borno-Yobe People’s Forum, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that more than 200 girls who were kidnapped two weeks ago had been sold to the fighters for $12.
Aliyu said the information given about the mass weddings was coming from villagers in the Sambisa Forest, on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon where Boko Haram was known to have a number of hideouts.
"The latest reports are that they have been taken across the borders, some to Cameroon and Chad,\’\’ Aliyu said.
It was not possible to verify the reports.
Community elder Pogu Bitrus of Chibok town, from where the girls were abducted, told the BBC\’s Hausa service that some of the kidnapped girls "have been married off to insurgents".
"A medieval kind of slavery. You go and capture women and then sell them off,\’\’ Bitrus said.
At the same time, the Boko Haram network was reportedly negotiating over the students\’ fate and demanding an unspecified ransom for their release, a Borno state civic leader told The Associated Press. The abductors have also claimed that two of the girls have died from snake bites.
Information regarding the girls’ exact whereabouts still remains unclear.
About 50 of the kidnapped girls managed to escape from the captors in the first days after their abduction, but some 220 remained missing, according to the principal of the Chibok Girls Secondary School, Asabe Kwambura. They are between 16 and 18 years old and had been recalled to the school to write a physics exam.
The government and military\’s failure to rescue the girls prompted Nigerian protesters to march on the country\’s parliament on Wednesday.