by Rachel Ogbu
Islamic sect, Boko Haram, has announced in a video that it had kidnapped some women, young girls and children in revenge for the arrest of their own wives and relatives, reports have said.
The group made the announcement on Monday with a footage reportedly showing women and children being held.
The BBC quoted leader of the sect, Sheikh Abubakar Shekau, to have made strong comments in a video saying the sect was keeping the hostages until their family members in custody were freed.
“If they do not leave our wives and children, we will not leave them,” Shekau was quoted as saying.
“We kidnapped some women and children, including teenage girls. In a single house in Damaturu, eight of our women and 14 children were arrested,” he said.
“None of our people were killed in Baga,” Shekau added.
“No-one in this country will enjoy his women and children” if the relatives of Boko Haram members were not released.
“We are the ones that carried out the Bama attack,” he said.
According to reports, Director of the Defence Information, Brig.- General Chris Olukolade, has warned Boko Haram to leave innocent civilians out of its conflict with the government.
“We will continue to do our jobs as enshrined in the constitution of this country. Nobody can blackmail us; they (Boko Haram) should stop this criminal conduct.”
“They should stop terrorising innocent people; we will not be blackmailed from doing our work.
“They should leave the innocent civilians out of this. The military will continue to do its work to provide security for Nigeria,” Olukolade said.
The Punch reports:
However, there have been no cases of abduction of women and children announced by the security agencies.
Shekau also admitted that members of the sect also carried out a “small operation” on the northern town of Baga on April 16.
He equally dismissed claims that sect members were killed in a shoot-out with security forces as “lies.”
“None of our people was killed in Baga,” Shekau added.
The Nigerian Army had said its men killed 30 Boko Haram members in Baga, while one soldier and six civilians also died.
Reuters had quoted a confidential Nigerian government report, seen by it, to have revealed that Boko Haram was paid more than $3m to free the hostages.
Both France and Cameroon denied paying a ransom.