A released video by the Islamic extremists, Boko Haram, showing some of the missing Chibok Girls has been obtained by the Nigerian government. The new Boko Haram video apparently filmed in December was sent to the government negotiators and it shows 15 girls in black robes identifying themselves as pupils abducted from the school. Some of those filmed have also been identified by their parents.
Until now, no news of the girls had been heard since they were kidnapped from their school dormitory in April 24, 2014. Some of the girls who were lucky to escape tells the story of the night that Boko Haram militants brought terror to the girls’ school.
CNN hosted an interview with a classmate of the girls who confirmed the identity of several of her friends. She tells how she (identity withheld) was suppose to be at the school that Sunday to sit for exams along with the girls, but decided to stay home, from where she heard the girls being attacked.
“We ran into the bush and stayed there for a month,” she says.
Watching the video, she becomes emotional, exclaiming ‘Oh my God!’ as she recognizes a close friend, points out another who was in the same hostel as her, and identifies one of the school’s prefects, a leader in her class.
While she considers herself one of the “lucky ones,” the teenager says she still has nightmares about the experience.
“If I hear something on the news about them, it makes me have bad dreams and I cry,” she confides.
The kidnapping of the 276 girls has set the world on a social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls, involving US first lady Michelle Obama and a host of celebrities.
The past months since their adoption, about 57 students have allegedly managed to escape but at least 219 are yet to be found.
According to CNN, as the camera focuses in on each of the girls a man behind the camera would ask them questions:
“What’s your name? Was that your name at school? Where were you taken from?”
Watch Video here:
One by one, each girl calmly states her name and explains that she was taken from Chibok Government Secondary School. Only the occasional hesitation betrays a flicker of fear and emotion.
As the two minute clip comes to an end, one of the girls, Naomi Zakaria, makes a final – apparently scripted – appeal to whoever is watching, urging the Nigerian authorities to help reunite the girls with their families.
“I am speaking on 25 December 2015, on behalf of the all the Chibok girls and we are all well,” she says, stressing the word “all.”
Her intonation seems to imply that the 15 teens seen in the video have been chosen to represent the group as a whole.
Although the Nigerian government says it has a copy of the “proof of life” video of the Chibok girls and that it is in negotiations with those who supplied it to secure the girls’ release, there are still doubts on the authenticity of the video. According to the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed the girls did not show any significant changes in their appearance.
However, Senator Shehu Sani, who has been involved in past negotiations with Boko Haram about the Chibok girls, said he found the video credible.
Some of the girls mothers on the other hand, had sorrowful moments watching the video.
While two of the girls’ mothers , Rifkatu Ayuba and Mary Ishaya identified their daughters, one of the girls’ mother, Yana Galang whose daughter, Rifqata, was not among the 15 girls in the video, said:
“I didn’t see my daughter but I now have more hope that she is alive. You can see what is yours on the screen but you can’t get it,” she said looking at the others. All we want is our daughters.”
She pleaded with government to negotiate with Boko Haram and release their daughters.
“We have heard a lot of stories before but this video confirms that they are alive. The government should negotiate with Boko Haram.”
More updates coming soon…