The fearful Nigerian militant group Boko Haram has said it has abducted women and children in response to the arrest of its members by the security forces in northern Nigeria.
The group leader Abubakar Shekau was seen in a video posted on You Tube showing women and children being held in a remote area of the country.
Mr. Abubakar Shekau also said that the group was behind the recent attacks in the north-east that claimed more than 240 lives in the past two weeks.
“We kidnapped some women and children, including teenage girls, in a single house in Damaturu, eight of our women and 14 children were arrested,” Mr. Shekau said.
Mr. Shekau added that “no-one in the country will enjoy his women and children” if the relatives of Boko Haram members were not released by the security officials.
Mr. Abubakar Shekau also confirmed that the group had carried out a series of attacks in recent weeks – including a raid on 7 May by about 200 heavily-armed men on Bama village in Borno State in the north-east.
“We are the ones that carried out the Bama attack and also some small operation in Baga, “None of our people were killed in Baga,” Mr. Shekau added.
The army had said it killed 30 Boko Haram members in Baga, while one soldier and six civilians also died but Mr. Shekau denied this claim by the military.
This latest crisis comes after President Goodluck Jonathan officially backed an amnesty talks with the militants by setting up a committee to start talks with the militants.
The committee will consider dialogue and disarmament in 60 days after which the report of the committee will be implemented.
The committee is made up of 25 members include military figures, academicians and politicians who primary duty will be to address the underlying causes of insurgencies and to find solutions to prevent them recurring again.
It is unclear what the government will do next whether to continue the amnesty talks with the militants or to stop and resort to force as a result of this latest development.
Boko Haram is fighting to create an Islamic state across northern Nigeria, where most people are Muslims.
Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News