‘How some abducted Chibok girls refused to be released – Negotiator’

by Azeez Adeniyi

A negotiator involved in the release of the 82 Chibok girls from Boko Haram has revealed that some of the abducted girls refused to be freed.

Zannah Mustapha, a legal practitioner and mediator said some of the abducted girls refused to join the train to freedom.

According to him, they were afraid that they had been radicalised by the jihadists and was too powerful to return to their old lives.


“Some girls refused to return. I have never talked to one of the girls about their reasons,” Mustapha told Reuters.

“As a mediator, it is not part of my mandate to force them (to return home).”

A Nigerian psychologist, Fatima Akilu, believed that the girls might preferred to identify with their captors instead of embracing freedom.

“They develop Stockholm syndrome, identify with captors and want to remain,” said Akilu.

“Some are afraid of what to expect, the unknown. We don’t know how much influence their husbands have in coercing them not to go back.”

Mustapha said negotiations between the government and the terrorist group in the future will include allowing peace in the North east.

He added, “We are not just talking; we are still actively working towards peace.

“Even though we have got (some of) the girls back, I don’t feel we have made much progress. After the (release of) the 21 girls, how many hundreds have been killed by suicide bombings?”

“While Boko Haram may indeed hold out in releasing all of the hostages to maintain some form of leverage, the reality is that the girls have limited value to the sect outside of public relations capital and are likely placing a strain on resources.”

The terrorists group had released 82 of over 270 students abducted in 2014.

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