A VIDEO appears to show some of Nigeria’s kidnapped Chibok girls who have not been heard from since the mass abduction by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram two years ago.
CNN showed video, believed to be made in December, of girls wearing the Islamic hijab covering and of one mother reaching out to a computer screen as she recognises her daughter.
“My Saratu,” she wails.
On the night of April 14, 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from the Government Girls Secondary School in the north-east town of Chibok. Dozens later escaped, but 219 remain missing.
While Boko Haram is thought to have kidnapped thousands of people over the years, the mass abduction brought the extremist group to the world’s attention.
The campaign hashtag #BringBackOurGirls went as far as the White House, used by US first lady Michelle Obama.
CNN reported that the “proof of life” video was sent in December to negotiators trying to free the girls. It shows an interview with information minister Lai Mohammed saying the government is reviewing and assessing the video.
Senator Shehu Sani, who has been involved in past negotiations with Boko Haram about the Chibok girls, said he found the video credible.
“We are all well,” one of the girls says in the video. There have been fears that Boko Haram’s increasing use of female children and adults to carry out suicide bombings indicate they are turning captives into weapons, including the Chibok girls.
There has been no word of the girls since April 2014, when Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said they had converted to Islam and threatened to sell them into slavery or forced marriage with his fighters. Many recently freed girls are pregnant.
If any Chibok girls get home, some will miss their parents. Two mothers and 16 fathers have died since the mass abduction, some of them victims of Boko Haram attacks. Others died from illnesses blamed on stress.
Nigeria’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo is due in Chibok on Thursday for the anniversary of the kidnappings.