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Saturday, 1 November 2014

Shekau appears in new video, denies ceasefire, says Chibok girls have converted to Islam, married off

The leader of the Boko Haram insurgents group, Abubakar Shekau has described the Nigerian government’s claims of a ceasefire deal as a lie.

Shekau who spoke in a new video seen by APF also ruled out future talks with the government, but instead vowed more attacks.

He denied knowledge of any Danladi Ahmadu which the Nigerian government claimed is the representative of the sect negotiating a peace deal brokered by the president of Chad, Idris Derby.

Danladi Ahmadu has been presented in Nigeria’s and international  media mostly on the VOA Hausa service as the man negotiating with President Goodluck Jonathan’s scribe, Mr. Hassan Tukur and Chadian President, Idris Derby promising to release of the over 200 Chibok girls in purported ceasefire talks.

But Shekau, speaking in Hausa, dressed in military fatigues and boots with a black turban, and flanked by 15 armed fighters, said:  We have not made ceasefire with anyone…

“We did not negotiate with anyone… It’s a lie. It’s a lie. We will not negotiate. What is our business with negotiation? Allah said we should not.”

“We  don’t know that liar and fake Danladi Ahmadu, we never met this liar with his character as he is claiming.

“We have nothing to do with him, and our war is not ending, expect more, what you are seeing is just little. There is no retreat in this Jihad; Allah is with us, and we are succeeding.”

Just when parents’ hopes for the release of their 219 girls abducted by the sect, Shekau in the video said that the girls have been married off to members of the sect adding that even the ones who initially refused to accept Islam have now had a change of mind.

“Don’t you know the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls have converted to Islam? They have now memorised two chapters of the Koran,” he said.

“Anybody who says plans are underway for the release of the girls is just daydreaming. They would not be returned.”

The Boko Haram leader also claimed to be holding a German national, who was kidnapped in the northeast Nigerian state of Adamawa earlier this year.

Shekau’s claim that they were “holding your German hostage” is the first claim of responsibility for the abduction, which happened on July 16.

Armed gunmen kidnapped the foreigner, who was said to be a teacher at a government technical training centre in Gombi, about 100 kilometres from the Adamawa state capital Yola.

In a related development,  Families of the 219 schoolgirls held for more than six months by Boko Haram militants on Saturday said they were shocked but not surprised at fresh claims that the teenagers had been married off.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau made the claim in a new video obtained by AFP on Friday, in which he also said that all the girls had converted to Islam and rejected claims of a ceasefire and peace talks.

The head of the Chibok Elders Forum in the northeast Nigerian town, Pogo Bitrus, whose four nieces are among the hostages, told AFP:

    “It (the claim about marriage) is shocking to us, although we know that Boko Haram is not a reliable group. We were sceptical about the talks to release our girls and we never took the ceasefire seriously because since the announcement, they have never stopped attacking communities. Therefore the information that our girls have been married off is not surprising to us. We are only hoping the government will step up whatever efforts it is making to quell the insurgency.”

Nigeria’s military and presidency said on October 17 that they had reached a deal to end five years of deadly violence in the country’s northeast, as well as agreement to release the Chibok girls. But violence has continued unabated, including a triple bomb attack on a bus station in the northern city of Gombe on Friday, which killed at least eight and injured dozens more.

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