Boko Haram factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, yesterday, released a new video which showed the abducted Chibok school girls, asking their parents to prevail on the federal government to release the sect members held in different detention centres across the country in exchange for the girls.
This came as the federal government said it was doing everything possible to secure the release of the girls from the hands of the Boko Haram sect and put an end to the horrible saga of their abduction, even as Defence Headquarters, DHQ, said it was examining the latest video. The Army also, yesterday, declared wanted, Ahmed Salkida, a Nigerian journalist prominent for his access to the extremist group and two others in connection with the video.
Boko Haram Leader; Shekau in the video, also alleged that, while some of the girls had been killed by air strikes launched by the Nigerian Air Force on their locations, at least, 40 others had been married off. This is the second video released by Shekau within a week as an earlier one revealed threats to attack the Presidential Villa, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai and Army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman.
The video showed a masked armed man standing in front of several girls, who, he claimed, were the over 200 girls abducted from their school hostel at Government Secondary School, Chibok, in 2014. One of the girls, Maida Yakubu, who spoke in both Hausa and her native language, asked parents to “be patient and beg the government to release their people, so that we will also be released.”
On her message to her parents and the federal government, Maida said:
“All I can say is that our parents should be patient, beg the government to release their people, so that we can also be released.”
Maida’s mother, Esther, is one of several parents of Chibok girls who recently published open letters to their daughters, detailing the pain they feel at their children’s absence and their hopes for the future.
Release our men and get Chibok girls — Shekau
The video message read:
“We thank God for giving us the opportunity to send this message to the parents of these girls (pointing at the girls sitting behind him).
“It pleased God to let us have these girls in our captivity for over two years now. Our first message is to the parents of the girls to let them know that their daughters are still with us, some of them.
“I also want to tell them to ask the Nigerian government to release our brethren, especially those in Maiduguri, Lagos, Abuja and other places across Nigeria. They should be released immediately.
“You all knew that we had the girls, but God never allowed you to know their location and you will never know by God’s grace. You keep lying in your media that you will rescue them, they have been with us for over two years, yet you can’t even know where they are. You have just been lying about these girls, people should know that.
“Also, for the over two years that we have been with these girls, about 40 of them are married, some are dead as a result of airstrike by infidels. We will show you a video of how your own aircraft dropped a bomb that killed some of these girls. Some of the girls have suffered fractures and other forms of injuries as a result of the air strikes.
“As you can see, these are the girls, all we want is for you to release our brethren otherwise you will never get these girls God willing. This in short is our message to the Federal Government and the parents of the Chibok Girls.
“As long as the government does not release our people, we will also never release these girls, that is our message. I specially informed our people in captivity in Lagos that they should be patient and continue with their prayers, God will take us to where no one expects and we will rescue them. All those in Lagos, Maiduguri and other southern parts of the country. Keep praying, very soon, we will rescue you.
“Let me conclude this message by saying that many people have been coming to us lying that they were sent by the Nigerian government to get the girls released. Let the government and the whole world know that we have not sent anyone to negotiate with the government on our behalf over these girls. We have dealt with you in the past and you know our recommended negotiators. If you need to, you should talk to them. We don’t use our own people to negotiate with you, we use your own people such as journalists to talk with you. We have not sent any other persons. You know that we prefer to use journalists known to you.
“Let me say again, release our people and we release your girls, otherwise, they will never be released. If you think you have the power to come and rescue them, go ahead and try.
“President Buhari, your Army has been lying to you that they have finished us, let them try and see if they can rescue these girls alive.”
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