Following the Boko Haram video which was posted on Sunday night, a mother of one of the kidnapped Chibok girls has pleaded for Nigeria’s President Buhari to swap the kidnapped school girls for arrested Boko Haram terrorists.
The Boko Haram video showed over a dozen of the Chibok school girls who had been kidnapped from their schools in the Chibok community of Borno, northeastern Nigeria in 2014. One of the girls was shown saying that a couple of the girls had died as a result of military airstrikes staged against the terrorists.
The schoolgirl also made a call to their parents to pressure the Nigerian government to release Boko Haram members who have been arrested by the Nigerian government in exchange for the Chibok girls.
The Nigerian defence ministry, however, disputed the claim that the dead girls passed away as a result of airstrikes. A spokesperson for the Nigerian Defence Ministry, brigadier general Rabe Abubakar said:
“It is extremely difficult and rare to hit innocent people during airstrikes because the operation is done through precision attacks on identified and registered targets and locations.”
The schoolgirl’s mother Esther Yakubu who saw her daughter for the first time since her capture was tearful as she urged the Nigerian government to release the militants.
“All the girls that have been rescued have rescued themselves. Not any government has rescued them, no army rescued them,” she added.
The Bring Back Our Girls campaign which was launched during the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration to pressure the government to rescue the girls also pushed for the prisoner swap. The campaign accused the current Nigerian government of having done nothing despite using the BBOGmovement to fuel their electoral campaign. Some months ago, President Buhari claimed not to have seen a footage of Boko Haram that could encourage negotiations between both parties.
“We are being extremely careful,” Information Minister Lai Mohammed said in a statement. “We want to be doubly sure that those we are in touch with are who they claim to be.”
The Boko Haram video was posted by a journalist Ahmed Salkida who has close ties with Boko Haram. The Nigerian who lives in Dubai stated that the video was sent to him by disputed leader, Abubakar Shekau’s wing of Boko Haram. Since then, the Nigerian army has declared him, as well as two others ‘ wanted’ for interrogations.