By Emmanuel Gutierrez |Staff Writer|
More than 300 schoolgirls are being held hostage and threatened to be sold by the terrorist organization Boko Haram in Nigeria.
The first abduction of schoolgirls occurred on April 14, at an all-female school in Chibok, Nigeria.
Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram, said in a video “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah.”
He continued in the CNN translation, “There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women.”
Shekau justified the abductions noting that members of Boko Haram still remain in Nigerian prisons, according to the New York Times.
Shekau intends on selling the girls into marriages and as sex slaves, according to the New York Post.
Boko Haram literally translates to “Western education is sinful,” in the local Hausa language and the terrorist organization’s ultimate goal is to impose “strict enforcement of Sharia law in Nigeria,” according to CNN.
Sharia law is a methodological moral system on how to conduct oneself in the Islamic faith, and is interpreted in varying degrees.
The strict interpretation that Shekau referred to dulls out antiquated and extreme punishments such as losing an arm for stealing and stoning to death for adultery.
Members of Boko Haram are responsible for the bombings of schools, churches, and mosques in the past 12 years, according to CNN.
Mohammed Yusuf, former head of the organization, created the religious and educational organization preaching “Western education incompatible with a belief in God.”
However, he spoke proficient English and drove a Mercedez-Benz, according to Vocativ.
Waves of criticism and the questions about the competency of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan ensued after he waited three weeks after the abductions began before publicly announcing the kidnappings and seeking international assistance, according to Vocativ.
“Wherever they are, we’ll get them,” said Jonathan after admitting to having no new information regarding the kidnapped girls.
Parents and guardians of the abductees have expressed an immense lack of faith towards their government and have gone searching for their children on their own, saying that they have never seen soldiers or police officers searching, according to Vocativ.
Relatives of the abducted school children have told officials that the girls are being “offered for 2,000 naira,” according to Vocativ. Two Thousand naira is equivalent to $12 in the U.S.
Foreign nations including the United States, Great Britain, France, and Canada, have sent special-forces to locate the schoolgirls.
However, no military action has been authorized, according to the New York Post.
“Access to education is a basic right and an unconscionable reason to target innocent girls. We must stand up to terrorism,” tweeted former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
“These girls need help. Their friends and families need to be assured that a competent force will do good for them,” said student Hailey Allison.
As these events unfold in Nigeria, the world waits for information on the whereabouts and safety of the missing schoolgirls.