It’s been 2 years since over 200 Nigerian school girls were abducted from their school in Chibok, Borno State of Nigeria. A video of these girls were released shortly after the abduction. Now a new video has emerged with some of the girls, saying “they are all well.”
The video shows 15 out of the 276 girls abducted in 2014. The video is reported to have been obtained through Boko haram negotiators. The government had seen the video but the girls’ parents/family are only recently seeing the video.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed points out that there appeared to be no physical changes in the girls per say in as long a time as 2 years. Plus the video was taken in a controversial environment. This is a totally different background from other videos released by the group. According to CNN, the girls in the video “show no obvious signs of maltreatment.”
Ascertaining the timing of the video is also another puzzle. Should the Nigerian government believe these girls are all still alive? Should they trust that this video was not made much earlier than speculated? It is believed that the video was made last year on 25th December as a “proof of life”. This on the other hand suggests that the group still pushes for a negotiation with the Nigerian government using the girls as baits.
On the issue of negotiation, the Nigerian government to the best of public knowledge so far has not given in to any form of negotiation with the terrorists. In his interview, Lai Mohammed says the video is in review. He also says that there are talks ongoing to consider all options that will bring the girls home.
With the Chibok girls saga, there are a lot of unanswered questions. But whether, as some disputed, the school girls were abducted might not exactly be necessary with the new video release. More so when parents and a school mate recognize some of them in the video.
Rifkatu Ayuba exclaimed “My Saratu!” on recognizing her now 17-year-old daughter. A flash of hope it is but the broken heart of the Chibok mother cannot be imagined enough.
“I felt like removing her from the screen… If I could, I would have removed her from the screen.”