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Boko Haram ‘slaughter wives’ in NE Nigeria: witnesses

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source AFP

Dozens of Nigerian women who were forced to marry Boko Haram fighters were reportedly slaughtered by their “husbands” before a battle with troops in the northeast town of Bama, multiple witnesses said Thursday.

Five witnesses who recounted the massacres to AFP said the Islamist militants feared they would be killed by advancing soldiers or separated from their wives when they fled the town.

They killed the women to prevent them from subsequently marrying soldiers or other so-called non-believers, they added.

“The terrorists said they will not allow their wives to be married to infidels,” said Sharifatu Bakura, 39, a mother of three.

Nigeria’s military along with forces from neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger have claimed huge victories over the insurgents in recent weeks but defenceless civilians still face serious threats.

– ‘Dozens’ of corpses –

According to Bakura’s account, which was supported by others, Boko Haram fighters received word of a military assault on Bama, formerly an Islamist stronghold in Borno state.

The insurgents had decided to flee to the nearby town of Gwoza before the troops’ arrival but first decided “to kill their wives so that nobody will remarry them”, she said.

Bukara’s husband was killed by the insurgents four months ago but she was spared from a forced marriage because she was visibly pregnant.

Boko Haram forcibly married scores of women in Bama after seizing it in September. Nigeria’s military announced the recapture of the town on Monday.

Witnesses who were taken under military protection this week to Borno’s capital Maiduguri, 73 kilometres (45 miles) away, said the killing of women began 10 days before Bama was liberated.

The Islamists said “if they kill their wives, they would remain pious until both of them meet again in heaven, where they would re-unite”, said Salma Mahmud, another witness.

A vigilante who fought alongside the military in the battle to retake Bama, Abba Kassim, said he saw “dozens of women corpses” in the town.

– Commander’s instructions –

While other witnesses reportedly a similarly high casualty figure the numbers were impossible to verify.

Fanna Aisami, 52, also in Maiduguri after escaping Bama this week, said the executions followed a warning from Boko Haram’s top commander in the town.

“He informed them of the situation and ‎the consequence of the takeover of the town by the advancing troops.

“He warned them that when soldiers killed them they would take their wives back to the society where they would be forced to marry and live with infidels,” the mother of seven said, speaking by phone to AFP in Kano.

The commander “said it would be better for them to kill their wives and send them to heaven,” Aisami added.

A number of women were shot dead in front of the commander’s house, she further said.

Yagana Mairambe, 58, reported similar details but told AFP that “some Boko Haram men refused” and fled with their wives towards neighbouring Yobe state.

Nigeria’s national security spokesman Mike Omeri told AFP he would try to verify the reports while the military could not immediately be reached for comment.

With Boko Haram gunmen facing heavy military pressure across northeast Nigeria, attacks, including suicide bombings, have persisted, even as the government in Abuja tries to assure voters that March 28 elections will be secure.

The Islamist uprising has claimed more than 13,000 lives since 2009 and President Goodluck Jonathan has faced fierce criticism over failure to contain the violence.

The latest reported atrocities in Bama recall similar massacres at high schools and colleges across northeast Nigeria, where Boko Haram has executed scores of students learning a so-called infidel curriculum



5 Comments
  • Ojiyovwi

    Truly senseless. I have two daughters and to think that some coward would harm any of them because of an insane religious doctrine churns my stomach and wonder what planet these animals come from. All those women out there should now know if ever they were in any doubt, that they will be treated as the personal disposable asset of their men under sharia – Buhari’s pet project. This man has no place in our country, let alone leadership role. He is dangerously stupid. He is a risk to any Nigerian who has any regard for his/her fellow. In most free countries where the safety of the citizen is paramount, Buhari will have been arrested and asked to explain his widely suspected role in this madness that is BH insurgency. Has he got any conscience at all? Does he not care for our women? I understand he has a wife – she must quake in her clothes as Buhari approaches to give the poor woman a treatment that can be regarded as inhuman daily. Very sad. Very truthfully sad if he actually believes his sharia nonsense. I always felt all his sharia promo is a very poor effort to hide his widely known serious shortcoming in forged history so no one will be able to raise questions. Apparently, you cannot question authority under sharia even if that authority comes from an idiot.

  • Biggs Nem

    Its certain that BH have lost the course. They now slaughter women that they forcefully took captives, can this be attributed to Islam too. I said No. As long as the GCFR has restated his commitment to bring them to a halt, we would wait until the war is over. Keep up the good work Mr.President. #GEJ4Naija

  • BlackieUmukoro

    The insurgents are so jealous. They capture wives of others but they don’t want their own captured, they kill them instead. Are they no longer sure of the seventy virgins in hell, hence they want to go with the earthly ones? Idiots

  • onuigbo

    A similar article was written by Hamza Idiris and Ibrahim Sawab of DailyTrust Newspaper today, unfortunately, both made the choice not to approved comments written by readers, because their comments weren’t what they were expecting. Most of the so called Nigerian journalists like this duos need to be re educated by their organization, that their function is not to be judge and the jury in their own media house. And the DailyTrust Newspaper has to evaluate its policy of allowing or not, readers to comment on articles meant for public consumption. Nigerians are insulting us daily through the media and I have not seen or heard of the any of the proprietors taping the mouths of this offenders, Freedom of speech is not a piece of cake. Hanza and Ibrahim should know and accept it as a way of life. Or get out of professional journalism. Period.

  • muktar1

    THE BLAME MUST REST ON GEJ AND HIS SO-CALL MILTARY AND GUSAU FOR BEING THE BRAIN BEHING THE FAILURE TO PROTECT LIVES… JONATHAN WANTS THE NORTH VOTES AT THE EXPENSE OF PROTECTING LIVES; A BIG ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE PROBED. WE CAN SEE ATTROCITIES IN UNTOLD MAGNITITUDE ON RELIGIOUS BASIS..ON THE DEFENSLESS AND INNOCENTS. THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING IN MODERN ERA… LIVES DOES NOT MATTER AND THOSE IN AUTHORITY JUST FEEL UNCONCERNED AND MAINTAIN STATUS QUO. ANIMAL COUNTRY ARE WE OR WHAT? IF IT IS NOT BOKO HARAM, IT’S FULANI HERSMEN? WHEN WILL WE END THIS CARNAGES ON HUMANS IN NIGERIANS?