“The Boko Haram would recite the prayer for the dead,” Meriam said. “Then they wouldput on the hijab,” covering the suicide belt.
“They said, ‘God will forgive us,’” she said. “Then, they would enter the vehicles, and they would send the women away.”
“They chose the ones they wanted to marry,” added Hamsatu, whose full name was not used to protect her identity. “If anybody shouts, they said they would shoot them.”
“Is it from the people who forced me to have affairs with them?” she asked a relief worker, tears streaming down her face.
“When they came, they would select the one they wanted to sleep with,” she said. “They said, ‘If you do not marry us, we will slaughter you.’ ”
“If they want to have an affair with a woman, they will just take her to a private place, so that the others won’t see,” said Yana in a singsong voice. She could not recall her age; a relief worker at the camp here said she had been raped so often by Boko Haram that she was “psychologically affected.”
“The sect leaders make a very conscious effort to impregnate the women,” said the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima. “Some of them, I was told, even pray before mating, offering supplications for God to make the products of what they are doing become children that will inherit their ideology.”
“It’s like they wanted to have their own siblings, to take over from them,” added Abba Mohammed Bashir Shuwa, a senior state official in Maiduguri.
“We are going to have another set of Boko Haram,” said the official, Hadiza Waziri. “Most of these women now, they don’t want these pregnancies. You cannot love the child.”