Four girls believed to be among the over 200 Chibok School girls abducted by the extremist Islamic terror group, Boko Haram, have appeared in a video which surfaced on-line on Saturday.
The video made available by Sahara reporters saw the girls all dressed in black veils, clutching an AK 47rifle.
According to the SAHARA REPORTERS, it was given access to the video by a Nigerian journalist, Ahmad Salkida, who is known to have unfettered access to the militant group.
One of the abducted schoolgirls, who gave her name as Maida Yakubu, spoke on behalf of the others.
While responding to questions posed to her by a male voice in the background, Maida explained why she and some of her fellow captives refused to return to their parents.
Their conversation was in the Hausa language after which the girl spoke in the local Chibok dialect.
The unidentified male voice in his introductory remarks said, “These ones are among the young girls of Chibok who say they are not returning to their parents, but would rather stay back to follow Allah’s religion. Now, we are asking them why.”
The following dialogue ensued between the male voice and Maida:
What is your name?
Veiled girl with AK 47: My name is Maida Yakubu
Which town are you from?
What are the names of your parents?
My mother’s name is Esther Muntari; my father’s name is Yakubu Kaba.
Which school were you attending?
Why don’t you want to return to your parents?
I don’t want to return because they are living in the city of infidels, we want them to come and follow this religion for us to have rest in heaven.
Some people are saying that you are being forced into marriage is this so?
No. It is not so. Among us are those who agree and accept get married.
What is your message to your parents?
My message to them is for them to repent and follow Allah’s religion for our salvation.
What is your appeal to Nigerians?
My call to Nigerians is that they should leave the book that is not that of Allah and follow the Sunnah (Sayings and deeds of the Prophet) Allah’s religion will move forward whether you like it or not.
If you don’t agree you will die in your misery.
She switched to the local Chibok language for the last few seconds of the video.
Mother identifies daughter in B’Haram video
Meanwhile, Mrs. Esther Yakubu, the mother of Maida has told members of the Bring Back Our Girls advocacy group that it was indeed her daughter who spoke in the recently released video.
The Co-convener of the BBOG, Aisha Yesufu, confirmed this to members of the group during a meeting with other members of the BBOG in Abuja on Saturday.
Yesufu and some members of the group paid a visit to Maida’s parents and urged them not to give up hope.
She said it was ironic that Maida, who urged the Federal Government to rescue them in a proof-of-life video last year could be saying the opposite today.
Yesufu said, “The girl told us how much they had suffered and that they wanted to come back home; and this time, she is saying she does not want to come back home and she wants her parents to join her. We felt it was necessary to pay a visit of encouragement to the parents and we are just coming from Esther Yakubu’s house.
“It is not easy but she is quite strong. For the family, it is really sad and it is not the kind of thing you wish for your enemy but they are strong. She did say that the voice was her daughter’s voice even though she could only see her eyes because the girls were wearing niqab and their eyes were swollen as if they had cried.
“So, we stand with them and we will not stop this fight.
“We also encourage her not to give up because her daughter will need her when she gets out and by the grace of God, her daughter will come out.”
Speaking with our correspondent during a telephone interview, the Chairman, Chibok Community in Abuja, Mr. Hosea Tsambido, said the video was cheap propaganda, adding that the girl spoke under duress.
Tsambido said the Chibok leaders were expecting such a video to be released soon because of the statement made by a negotiator, Zannah Mustapha, in which he said the number of girls rescued last week should have been more than 82 but some refused to return because they preferred to stay with the terrorists.
The Chibok leader said he had spoken with the Yakubu family and they were not buying the narrative.
However, Maida’s mother refused to confirm anything to our correspondent when contacted on the telephone.
“Please I don’t know anything,” she said.
Freed B’Haram commanders threaten to bomb Abuja, churches
In a related development, three Boko Haram commanders who were set free in exchange for the 82 Chibok girls on Saturday threatened to bomb the nation’s capital and some churches in the country.
The commanders appeared in the new video alongside two others.
In the video, one of the commanders, who gave his name as Shaibu Moni, threatened to bomb Abuja very soon.
Moni who was the only person who spoke throughout 5:32-minute clip, announced in Hausa language that he was captured in Gombe after he detonated several bombs in the state about three years ago.
He declared that the terror sect had no interest in dialogue with the Nigerian government, stating that the only condition for peace was for all ‘infidels’ to repent and follow Allah’s instructions.
The commander who along with his other comrades wore military fatigues and held AK 47 rifles, were not wearing any masks.
He described claims by the Nigerian government that only five commanders were freed in exchange for the 82 Chibok School girls as a lie.
Moni said, “ I am the one that the infidels captured in Gombe because I set off bombs, now I am back in Sambisa among my religious brothers. You (government) are telling lies that you have destroyed Sambisa. You are telling lies.
“My brothers are doing well and are in good health. We are sounding a note of warning that very soon you will see us upon you. Is it not bombs you are afraid of? You do not fear Allah, okay, very soon you will hear the sound of bombs in your cities. Abuja is where you are providing security, Buhari, you cannot face Allah, Buratai, you lie…”
In a direct threat to Abuja, he said, “We are Muslims, you will see us, we say what we will do, we are not liars, very soon you will hear bombs going off in Abuja by the grace of Allah.”
He also said, “You (government) are saying you released only five commanders, you are all liars. You will not know you released commanders until you hear bombs going off in your cities, until you hear bombs going off in your churches, infidels repent. You have not finished us, you lack the capacity to finish us.”
Video a mere propaganda, says army
The Nigerian Army has said that the two video clips, released by the Boko Haram commanders who were swapped for the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, were mere propaganda and should be disregarded.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen Sani Usman, said the videos should be disregarded, as the army had put measures in place to prevent insurgent attacks.
Sani said, “The attention of Nigerian Army has been drawn to two video clips released by one of the released Boko Haram terrorists in exchange for the abducted Chibok school girls.
“We wish to state that the terrorist had lost touch with current realities. It was aimed at seeking relevance and attention. As you are all aware, he was a direct beneficiary of the process that led to the release of 82 of the abducted girls.
“He does not have a say or capacity to do anything. Therefore his threats should be ignored.”
Group demands probe of B’ Haram video
A pressure group under the aegis of Save Humanity Advocacy Centre, has expressed concern over what it described the promotion of Moni, a self acclaimed Boko Haram Commander
The group demanded investigation of the issues raised by Moni and the projections of some other notable collaborators and roles of such people in reviving the terror machinery.
A statement issued on Saturday by the Executive Director of SHAC, Dr. Leonard Pukat, called on the Federal Government, especially the security agencies, not to treat the threats from Moni and the actors in the video with levity.
He said past experiences have proven that they would do anything, including killing and maiming the innocent with bombs, to make a point about their relevance.