Government cautious over ‘proof of life’ Chibok girls video, sends delegation to Chibok
The Federal Government yesterday said it was studying a “proof of life” video showing 15 of the more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram, as parents and their supporters marked the second anniversary of the abduction.
Meanwhile, three ministers yesterday led a high-powered Federal Government delegation to Chibok town to commemorate two years anniversary of the abduction of 276 schoolgirls from Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) by Boko Haram insurgents.
According to a report, the footage, shown on the Cable News Network (CNN), is the first time any of the missing girls have been seen since a previous Boko Haram video in May 2014, when about 100 were seen in Islamic dress reciting the Koran.
A total of 276 girls were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, northeast Nigeria, on April 14, 2014. Fifty-seven escaped in the immediate aftermath.
Three mothers and a classmate of the 219 schoolgirls still missing confirmed the identities of the girls in the images broadcast on Wednesday night.
A senior government source told Agence France Press (AFP) it had received the video, which shows the girls in black hijabs, stating their names, that they were abducted from Chibok and saying they were “all well”.
The video was said to have been shot on December 25 last year.
But the source said they were keen to avoid the problems encountered by the previous administration, which prematurely announced talks with Boko Haram elements and even a ceasefire.
Members of the delegations include the Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, Minister of state for National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, her Works, Power and Housing counterpart, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume and Sen Binta Garba (Adamawa North).
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State also joined them in the journey to GGSS, Chibok where the schoolgirls were kidnaped, to offer prayers for the return of the abducted teenagers.
On arrival to Chibok yesterday, angry parents and relations of the abducted girls confronted with demands for the release of their wards
“Only the release of our daughters can relieve our two-year anguish of pains traumas”, said the parents
Leader of the abducted Chibok girls’ parents, Mr Yakubu Nkeki in a brief speech said: “The grief and sorrow over our missing daughters are boldly written on our faces this Thursday morning here in Chibok, where 276 girls were abducted by insurgents on April 14, 2014.
Rhetorically addressing the girls, he said: “We cannot fathom your definite location and the condition you are in right now.