Kidnapped girls don't want to leave Boko Haram

Many of the Chibok schoolgirls still held by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria do not want to leave their jihadist captors, a community leader has claimed.

There were jubilant scenes in the capital Abuja this week after 21 of the girls were set free, the first successful breakthrough in negotiations between the Nigerian government and the militants, brokered by Switzerland.

But Pogu Bitrus, the chairman of the Chibok Development Association, said more than 100 of the remaining girls appeared unwilling to return home, either because they have been radicalised or they are ashamed of their experience.

Mr Bitrus told The Associated Press the 21 Chibok girls freed last week in the first negotiated release between Nigeria's government and Boko Haram should be educated abroad, because they will probably face stigma in Nigeria. They are expected to meet with Nigeria's president, Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday or Wednesday, he said.

Some 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped from a school in northeastern Chibok in April 2014. Dozens escaped early on and at least half a dozen have died in captivity, according to the newly freed girls, Mr Bitrus said. 

All those who escaped on their own have left Chibok because, even though they were held only a few hours, they were labelled "Boko Haram wives" and taunted, he said. At least 20 of the girls are being educated in the United States. 

"We would prefer that they are taken away from the community and this country because the stigmatization is going to affect them for the rest of their lives," he said. "Even someone believed to have been abused by Boko Haram would be seen in a bad light." 

Mr Bitrus said that according to the testimony of the freed girls, the schoolgirls were split into two groups early on in their captivity, when Boko Haram commanders gave them the choice of joining the extremists and embracing Islam, or becoming their slaves.

The girls freed and those whose release is being negotiated, numbering 104, are believed to be in the group that rejected Islam and Boko Haram, he explained. The freed girls said they never saw the other girls again. 

Nigeria's government has denied reports that the girls were swapped for four Boko Haram commanders, or that a large ransom was paid. 

Additional reporting by agencies

Topics:  boko haram editors picks girls kidnapping leave refuses

Check out some of the fun events on Coast this weekend

Hervey Bay Antiques and Collectables Fair, PCYC - Kaitlyn and Charlotte Smith enjoyed looking over the jewellery on the Magpies Collectables stall. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Fraser Coast Antique Collectable Fair on this weekend.

Headspace grows to help our young

Psychology issues and concepts word cloud illustration. Word collage concept.

The day celebrated 10 years of innovation in youth mental health

REVEALED: Meet the Fraser Coast's top voted cleaners

Fraser Coast favourite cleaners - (L) Kristen Carden, Lynda Edwards and Alissa Mahoney from Action One Cleaning.

REVEALED: The best cleaners on the Fraser Coast

Local Partners

Library to air next classic film series at free event

FRASER Coast Libraries will screen An American In Paris as part of the next series of their classic film series.

Something for young and old at annual antique fair

Hervey Bay Antiques and Collectables Fair, PCYC - Kaitlyn and Charlotte Smith enjoyed looking over the jewellery on the Magpies Collectables stall.
Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

The Fraser Coast Antique Fair is on again

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Veteran photographer's work on show at gallery

Fraser Coast Chronicle chief photographer Alistair Brightman's photographic exhibition at Hervey Bay Regional Art Gallery is on now. It's called 20twenty20 Vision - Views & News.

"In my free time I do a lot of landscape and nature photography."

In Flames are super 'proud' of new album

In Flames album to be released in November.  Photo Contributed

In Flames to release new album in November

Selma Blair blames flight outburst on 'psychotic blackout'

Selma Blair

"I am someone who should never drink, and I rarely do"

Bob Dylan acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his Nobel Prize win

WATCH: Trailer for Jackman's final Wolverine film released

First trailer for the last Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman.

Thrilling trailer promises a dark, dystopian finale for Wolverine

CCTV footage surfaces of Kim Kardashian West's robbers

The blurry footage shows three men on bikes and two on foot

Cathriona White's mother claims to have Jim Carrey's results

Jim Carrey and late ex-girlfriend Cathriona White

SHE claims Carrey exposed White to herpes, chlamydia, Hepatitis A

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

SEQ is the 'greatest market': property guru John McGrath

SPEAKER: John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents is today's guest speaker at the Better Business Breakfast.

SEQ is the "greatest" real estate market, says property guru.