•Boko Haram demands members’ release in exchange for them
•Army declares journalist, lawyer, another wanted
From Molly Kilete, Abuja and Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
Emotion overwhelmed some of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, as they shed tears in the new video released by Boko Haram yesterday.
This is coming at a time the Nigerian Army has declared a journalist, a lawyer and one other person wanted for allegedly concealing information on the location of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls. They are Ahmed Salkida, (aka Ambassador), Aisha Wakil (aka mama Boko Haram) and Ahmed U. Bolori.
In the new video released by a faction of Boko Haram led by Abubakar Shekau, dozens of the 276 students abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State on April 14, 2014 were seen cleaning their eyes with their hijabs. A man in the video claimed that 40 of the girls had been married off to some of the terrorists and urged the parents to appeal to the Federal Government to release its detained members in exchange for the girls.
He also said that some of the girls had been killed in air-raids by the military.
The transcribed message in the video said: “This is a message from Jama’atuahlis sunnah lidda await wal jihad, under the leadership of Abu Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Abubakar As-Shekau. We are sending a special message to the parents of the Chibok girls and the Nigerian government.
“We thank God for giving us the opportunity to send this message to the parents of these girls. It pleased God to let us have these girls in our captivity for over two years now. Our first message is to the parents of the girls to let them know that their daughters are still with us, some of them. I also want to tell them to ask the Nigerian government to release our brethren, especially those in Maiduguri, Lagos and Abuja and other places in Nigeria. They should be released immediately.
“You all know we have the girls, but God never allowed you to know their location and you will never know, by Gods grace. You keep lying in your media that you will rescue them; they have been with us for over two years, yet you can’t even know where they are. You have just been lying about these girls; people should know that.
“Also, for the over two years that we have been with these girls, about 40 of them are married; some are dead as a result of airstrike by infidels. We will show you a video of how your own aircraft dropped a bomb that killed some of these girls. Some of the girls have suffered fractures and other forms of injuries as a result of the air strikes.
“As you can see, these are the girls; all we want is for you to release our brethren, otherwise, you will never get these girls God willing. This in short is our message to the Federal Government and the parents of the Chibok girls. As long as the government does not release our people, we will also never release these girls, that is our message.
“I specially inform our people in captivity in Lagos that they should be patient and continue with their prayers, God will take us to where no one expects and we will rescue them. All those in Lagos, Maiduguri and other southern parts of the country, keep praying; very soon, we will rescue you.
“Let me conclude this message by saying that many people have been coming to us lying that they were sent by the Nigerian government to get the girls released. Let the government and the whole world know that we have not sent anyone to negotiate with the government on our behalf over these girls. We have dealt with you in the past before and you know our recommended negotiators. If you need to, you should talk to them. We don’t use our own people to negotiate with you; we use your own people, such as journalists to talk with you. We have not sent any other persons. You know that we prefer to use journalists known to you.
“Let me say again: release our people and we release your girls, otherwise, they will never be released. If you think you have the power to come and rescue them, go ahead and try. President Buhari, your army has been lying to you that they have finished us; let them try and see if they can rescue the girls alive.”
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, while responding to the video stated that the Federal Government was doing everything possible to secure the release of the girls.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser to the Minister, Segun Adeyemi, the minister said the government was on top of the situation, but was being careful to ensure the safety of the girls.
he said: “We are on top of the situation, but we are being extremely careful because the situation has been compounded by the split in the leadership of the Boko Haram. We are also being guided by the need to ensure the safety of the girls.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has declared three persons wanted for allegedly hoarding information regarding the Chibok girls. The three wanted persons are Salkida, (journalist), Aisha Wakil (lawyer) and Bolori.
The Army alleged that these three have been declared wanted for failing to provide necessary information on the conditions and the exact location of the missing girls.
Acting director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, who made this known in a statement, alleged that these individuals have links with the terrorists.
According to him: “The world is quite aware of the abduction of several persons, including the female students from Chibok by the terrorist group. We also appealed to Nigerians that have any information to volunteer to the military or security agencies to enable us rescue them.
“However, two recent incidents have pointed to the fact that three individuals, namely: Ahmed Salkida, Ahmed U. Bolori and Aisha Wakil, have information of the exact location of these girls. Therefore, the Nigerian Army hereby declares them wanted for interrogation. We are relying on the relevant laws of the land and in particular the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 (as amended), where Nigerians could be punished for failure to disclose information about terrorists or terrorists activities.
“This has become necessary as a result of their link with the last two videos released by the terrorists and other findings of our preliminary investigations. There is no doubt that these individuals have links with the terrorists. They must, therefore, come forward and tell us where the group is keeping the Chibok Girls and other abducted persons to enable us rescue them.”