856 Days In Captivity: Hope Dims On Possible Return Of Chibok Girls | Independent Newspapers Limited
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856 Days In Captivity: Hope Dims On Possible Return Of Chibok Girls

Chibok Girls
Posted: Aug 17, 2016 at 3:34 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

There have been renewed calls on the federal government to take advantage of the latest video and requests made by the Boo Haram sect on steps that could lead to the freedom of secondary school girls kidnapped in Borno state and possibly return peace to the region. Oyeniran Apata writes.


The new video released by the Abubakar Shekau led faction of the extremist Boko Haram sect last Sunday; showing the abducted Chibok girls has sparked off a new wave of appeal to the Federal Government to double efforts and bring back the girls.

The unidentified masked man in the video who claimed that some of the girls were killed by air strikes launched by the Nigerian Air Force on their locations again drew hot tears from Nigerians whose hearts are yet to heal since that unfortunate incidence of April 14, 2014.

The video showed a masked armed man standing in front of the traumatised  girls, who, he claimed, were the over 200 girls abducted from their school hostel at Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.

The man said the video was released to send a message to the parents of the girls to beg the Nigerian government to release Boko Haram members in various detention centres in exchange for the girls.

According to the unnamed man in the video about 40 of the girls were already married while some were dead.

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”.

In his opinion Jacob Zenn, a security analyst and an African affairs specialist at the Jamestown Foundation, a research organization based in Washington, said it appeared that the girls in the video were in the custody of Mr. Shekau’s group.

“Logos seen in the video and a reference to Mr. Shekau as the leader indicated that it was produced by his faction,” he said.

Mr. Shekau’s faction “has significant logistics capabilities if it has been able to keep so many of the world’s most sought-after girls hidden and captive for more than two years now,” Mr. Zenn said.

Many analysts believe the girls have been divided among Boko Haram fighters and are scattered throughout the Sambisa Forest, where the Nigerian military has stepped up its offensive against the militants in a battle that has recently included airstrikes.

However, as Nigerians begin to react to the latest video, there are calls on President Mohammed Buhari led administration to take advantage of the latest offer by the sect to act fast and secure the release of what was left of the girls and others in their custody.

Reports say parents of the Nigerian schoolgirls are demanding a swift action on the part of the FG to free the traumatised girls.

During a meeting Sunday night held by a group called “Bring Back Our Girls, some in attendance called on the government to intervene immediately.

“We are not going to let up until this government acts. Let them get ready because every day we shall be marching to the (Presidential) villa,” said Oby Ezekwesili.

According to Ezekwesili the present situation calls for last-ditch efforts, stating that only three choices are available; negotiate to release our girls, use the military operation or a combination of the two,” Ezekwesili said.

Speaking in the same vein, Mr. Muyideen Subair an Abeokuta based auditor and parent who has been following the development with deep concern appealed to the Federal Government to act fast at this offer to free the girls, other captives and possibly negotiate with the sect to give the girls who are now mothers opportunity to breadth a hair of freedom again.

One of the schoolgirls pleads in the video for the Nigerian government to release members of Boko Haram in exchange for the kidnapped students from GGSC a school in Chibok, which is located in the northeastern portion of the country.

The father of the schoolgirl who appeared in the video identified his daughter on film and was hopeful to learn she and some of her fellow students were still alive.

Mr. Thomas Gyang, a retired school teacher of Ghanaian descent pleaded with the Nigerian government to act fast at this seeming opportunity to exchange the girls for members of the sect that called Jama.atu ahlis Sunnah lidda awati wal jihadl

“We are being extremely careful because the situation has been compounded by the split in the leadership of Boko Haram,” Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information of Culture, said in an online statement.