The BringBackOurGirls group and the
parents of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls on Sunday demanded the Federal
Government demand exchange of detained Boko Haram members for the girls who have been in
captivity for over two years.
This followed the video of the
girls released by the sect on Sunday.
Boko Haram is holding more than 200
of the 276 final-year girls it seized from Government Secondary School, Chibok,
in Borno State, in April 2014.
Some of them escaped, but 215 girls
remain missing. In May 2016, one of them, Amina Ali, was rescued.
In the video released by the
Abubakar Shekau faction, Boko Haram claimed that some of the girls were killed
by air strikes launched by the Nigerian Air Force on their hideouts.
The new video, more than 11 minutes
long, showed a masked armed man standing in front of several girls, whom he
claimed were the over 200 girls abducted from their hostel at the GSS in 2014.
The man stated that the video was
released to send a message to the parents of the girls to beg the government to
release Boko Haram members in detention centers in exchange for the girls.
He said, ‘‘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 beg
the Nigerian government to release our brethren, especially those in Maiduguri,
Lagos and Abuja and other places across Nigeria. They should be released
‘‘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 don’t know where they are. You
have been lying about these girls.
‘‘For over two years that we have
been with these girls, about 40 of them have been married, some are dead as a
result of airstrikes 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 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.
One of the girls, Maida Yakubu
(Dorcas), who spoke in both Hausa and Kibaku, her native language, asked
parents to “be patient and beg the government to release their people, so that
we will also be released.”
“In the aftermath of an earlier
video, we repeatedly called on government to treat the information as the
missing piece of credible information it was seeking. Not even the return of
Amina Ali, a Chibok girl, inspired the sort of response we demanded,” the group
“Boko Haram in the video asked the
government to release their members so that they could release our girls. If
the government knows that it cannot handle the insurgency, it should invite
other countries. It is not a crime to seek assistance in a war. It is a shame
for them to allow our daughters to languish in captivity for over two years, ”said one of the parent”, Mr KabuYakubu, whose daughter was ask to speak in the purported video .
“I don’t regret sending her to
school, but I regret putting her in boarding school. If she was a day student,
she would be home with me that night. The abduction affected her because she
was in boarding school,” Yakubu added.
“I recognize Saratu Ayuba, Awa
Ishaiya and others. In that video, Dorcas has grown up a little and she is
slimmer. I cried when I saw her in the video. That is only change I observe,
but I thank God she is alive.”
Dorcas father, Kabu Yakubu, urged
the government to release Boko Haram detainees in exchange for the Chibok
girls, adding that the demand had boosted his hope that his daughter and others
would eventually make it home.