Just a day before the world marks the second year of the abduction of 276 girls kidnapped from the Chibok Secondary School in Borno state on April 14, 2014, global news channel, CNN has published a video showing the girls alive.
The video is said to have been recorded by terrorist group, Boko Haram, on December 25, 2015 and was presumably sent to government negotiators as a “proof of life.”
In the video, 15 girls face the camera with their backs to a yellow wall, wearing dark flowing robes. They individually state their names in response to questions from a voice behind the camera. They show no obvious signs of maltreatment but exhibit some fear and hesitation.
As the camera focuses on each of them, a man behind the camera whose voice CNN identifies as that of Boko Haram spokesman, Abu Zainara, asks: “What’s your name? Was that your name at school? Where were you taken from?”
At the end of the two minute clip, one of the girls, Naomi Zakaria, makes a final and apparently scripted appeal to the federal government to help reunite the girls with their families.
“I am speaking on 25 December 2015, on behalf of all the Chibok girls and we are all well,” she said.
The video has been seen by some officials of the federal government, according to information minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was interviewed by CNN. The minister confirmed that there were ongoing talks with people who claimed to have leads on where the girls were being kept but could not confirm if the government was negotiating with the terrorists.
Selected parents of some of the girls held captive were also shown in the video clip and were able to identify each of the 15 girls shown in the video, one of them, Rifkatu Ayuba pointed out her daughter, Saratu. Another mother, Mary Ishaya, also identified her daughter Hauwa in the video.
The parents have appealed to the government to do all it can to ensure the release of the girls.
According to CNN, the video was released by someone keen to give the girls’ parents hope that some of their daughters are still alive, and to motivate the government to help release them.