Posted by News Express | 12 May 2014 | 4,458 times
Last Thursday, May 8, News Express published a story entitled ‘Boko Haram indicates condition to release abducted Chibok schoolgirls’ in which Shehu Sani, a former Boko Haram mediator, sensationally revealed that the group would be willing to exchange the more than 200 schoolgirls it abducted from Chibok, Borno State in Nigeria’s North-East, on April 14 with its jailed members.
Today, Shehu Sani was proved right when Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau announced that he is willing to exchange the schoolgirls for Boko Haram prisoners.
Shekau made the announcement in a 27-minute footage which emerged today purportedly showing some of the kidnapped Nigerian girls in Muslim headdresses and Shekau declaring that they have converted to Islam.
The video released by French news agency, Agence France-Presse, was shot in a nondescript area of a bush and showed about 100 girls.
It shows girls dressed in black and gray hijabs and reciting the Quran as they make Islamic declarations of faith. Shekau appears in a separate part of the video, but never with the girls.
“Praise be to Allah, the lord of the world,” the girls chant in the video.
It’s the first purported sighting of the girls abducted last month in the northern town of Chibok. A convoy of Islamist militants drove to a school, seized nearly 300 girls and fled into the night. At least 276 girls remain missing since the terror group abducted them on April 14.
Sani, who is a Kaduna-based rights activist, had in 2011 brokered face-to-face peace between Boko Haram and the Nigerian Government then headed by former president Olusegun Obasanjo. The talks later broke down when Boko Haram accused the Nigerian Government of insincerity.
•Photo shows Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau with close aides.
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