Boko Haram reportedly released a new video showing the girls abducted on April 14 narrating their ordeal.
President Goodluck Jonathan is believed to have seen the video, with the footage not released publicly. The kidnap victims were said to be located in the neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon, Vanguard reports with reference to The Mail of London that saw the video.
Eight scared, however courageous girls were shown begging for release and saying there were hungry, with 4 of them speaking Hausa. According to The Mail, one student cried:
“My family will be so worried” , while another girl softly confessed: “I never expected to suffer like this in my life.”
It would be recalled that in the previous videos released weeks after the female students’ abduction, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau claimed the girls had been converted to Islam and showed them reciting Koran. He gave the condition for their release: to swap the girls for the sect prisoners currently serving their terms.
The reaction of the Nigerian authorities arose many questions. First they rejected any negotiations with the terrorists, however some time later information surfaced that the talks had been started. It was even reported by The Mail about several rescue attempts, one involving the release of suspected low-level Boko Haram members detained without charges or trial.
Fresh hopes rose last week as Chief of Defence Staff Alex Badeh insisted they had located the girls adding however that they would not use force to rescue them. The London newsmen suggested that this announcement could have been made after the government saw the video and might have persuaded Boko Haram’s intermediary to speak about the whereabouts.
According to the report, which refers to Dr Stephen Davis, the top adviser reportedly hired by Jonathan to help with the find-and-rescue operation, the abducted girls were split into several groups, with the majority held outside Nigeria.
He was quoted saying:
“They are in camps across the Nigerian border in Cameroon, Chad and Niger. I say the “vast majority” as I know a small group was confirmed to me to be in Nigeria last week when we sought to have them released.
“One of that small group of girls is ill and we had hoped we might convince the commander of the group holding her that she should be released so we could give her medical treatment. There are other girls who are not well and we have come close to having them released but their captors fear a trap in which they will be captured in the handover process.
“One girl has what I assume is a broken wrist as they demonstrate to me how she holds her hand. I have been told that others are sick and in need of medical attention.”