This was revealed to Reuters by legal practitioner and mediator, Zannah Mustapha. He acted as an intermediary in the latest release of 82 Chibok girls.
He believes the reason for their refusal to return home could be that ‘they had been radicalized by the jihadists, and might be afraid, ashamed or even too powerful to return to their old lives.’
However, this was just his speculation as he did talk to the girls about their reason himself. “I have never talked to one of the girls about their reasons,” he told Reuters.
Being only a mediator he couldn’t force or compel the girls to return home.
Explaining what could have the reason for the girls’ refusal to return home, Psychologist Fatima Akilu said: “many women and girls abducted by Boko Haram identify with their captors, may not want to give up their new lives with their militant husbands, or feel forced to stay due to fear or shame.”
“They develop Stockholm syndrome, identify with captors and want to remain.”
According to Reuters, Fatima Akilu has helped run deradicalization programs for Boko Haram militants and women abducted by them. She is also the head of the Neem Foundation, a nonprofit group aimed at countering extremism in Nigeria.
The earlier release of 21 Chibok girls in October 2014 and this recent one were both brokered by Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross, Reuters said.