Thursday, April 14, 2016 7:08 am
At least 15 of the 219 Chibok schoolgirls stolen by Boko Haram militants exactly two years ago are alive.
That was the message conveyed by a video released by the terrorist group in December last year and sent to the Borno State government.
In it, the girls – all dressed in full length, black robes – state their names, their school and where they are from.
They show no visible signs of injury or maltreatment and do not look starved.
The video was screened on Tuesday in Maiduguri to the mothers of several of the missing girls. It has also been screened on CNN. (Watch it on CNN:
The video clip – until now only seen by Nigerian Government officials and hostage negotiators – ends with one of the girls, Naomi Zakaria, making a scripted appeal begging for the country’s authorities to help get the group back to their families.
She said: ‘I am speaking on 25 December 2015, on behalf of the all the Chibok girls and we are all well.’
Three out of the mothers of the 219 girls were invited to the viewing by the chairman of Chibok local government area, Bana Lawan.
Mothers Rifkatu Ayuba and Mary Ishaya said they recognised their daughters, Saratu and Hauwa, in the video, while a third mother, Yana Galang, identified five of the missing girls. Local officials said more identifications were needed.
“The girls were looking very, very well,” Galang said
The kidnapping of the girls has become a political issue in Nigeria with the government and military criticised for their handling of the incident and failing to track down the girls.
“They were definitely our daughters … all we want is for the government to bring back our girls,” said Galang.
It was the second time in recent days that hope is raised that the Chibok girls may still be alive. One of the fathers had reported getting a phone call recently from her daughter. (Read the story here: http://thenewsnigeria.com.ng/2016/04/missing-chibok-schoolgirl-calls-her-father/)