Militant Group Boko Haram Now Requests Release of Fighter in Exchange for Girls
Nigerian Islamist group, Boko Haram, recently released a video showing the Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted in April 2014. It is said they are currently holding over 200 of the 276 final year girls taken from their school.
Approximately 50 girls are shown in the video with a gunman demanding the release of fighters in return for the girls. The gunman also commented that some girls perished in air strikes.
The government commented that it was in correspondence with the militants who released the video.
A journalist who had contact with the terrorist group has now been deemed a wanted man.
Many people who were not Muslim have been reported to have been forcibly converted to Islam. It is feared that the schoolgirls have been sexually abused and forced into “marriage” by the group.
Parents of the missing girls have repeatedly vocalized their anguish over their daughters captivity.
The video opens with an armed masked man speaking to the camera. He updates the viewers that some of the girls have been wounded and have sustained life-threatening injuries. He also confirmed concerns when he notes that 40 have been married.
The gunman further commented that the girls will never be returned if the government fails to release Boko Haram fighters who, according to them, “have been in detention for ages”.
In an interview with the BBC, Samuel Yaga who is a father of one of the abducted schoolgirls, said that he has watched the video several times, and has been overwhelmed by sadness. He described it as being, “beaten and being stopped from crying… You helplessly watch your daughter, but there is nothing you can do. It’s a real heartache.”
The video ends with footage of dead bodies. They are said to be the victims of air strikes lying on the ground at another location.
The militant carries out a staged interview with a captive who is referred to as Maida Yakubu asking her parents to appeal to the Nigerian government.
Another girl standing in the background can be seen holding a baby. Others are weeping as Maida speaks.
Terrorist group Boko Haram waged a violent campaign for years in northern Nigeria in its desire for Islamic rule. A faction of the group has pledged loyalty to the Islamic State.
Thousands over the years have been captured or killed by a group whose name translated means “Western education is forbidden”. Many of the Chibok schoolgirls were Christian making them a target for the group.
Heavenly Father, we pray for the release of these schoolgirls into the safety of their families- all of the schoolgirls. They are your children, Lord, and we pray a hedge of protection around each one of them and their families.
Soften the hearts of those who are holding them captive into releasing these girls and use just even one heart that hears your voice to release them from captivity. May each one of these militants have an encounter with you, Lord, and turn from their violent ways.
Lord, be with the families at this moment, and give them peace. Hear their prayers, Lord, for the safe return of their daughters.
In Jesus name, Amen.
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