Boko Haram militants have denied any cease-fire deal with the Nigerian government, saying that the abducted girls have all been married off and would not return again.
“There is no ceasefire with the government….It is all lies,” a man purported to be militant leader Abubakar Shekau said in a new video late Friday.
“Anybody who says plans are afoot for the release of the girls is just daydreaming. They have been married off. They have all accepted Islam.”
The video, if genuine, again creates credibility problem for the Nigeria government which had repeatedly claimed in the past weeks that it has sealed with a cease-fire with the militants, which included possible freedom for the abducted girls in exchange for some top commanders of the group who are in detention.
The government said the talks with the militants are being mediated by the Chadian government in Ndjamena.
There was no comment from the Nigerian government on the video.
Boko Haram’s denial has confirmed widespread doubt that greeted the government announcement of the deal.
Nearly all analysts have cast a serious doubt on the arrangement, and raised posers for the government to answer.
In what deepened the skepticism about the whole deal, militants believed to belong to Boko Haram have launched daring attacks since the announcement, which resulted in multiple deaths and capture of towns.
Nigeria has battled Boko Haram for the past five years, with thousands killed and millions displaced by the violence, which has been largely limited to the country’s volatile northeastern region.