Nigeria extremist leader uses video to demand trade for abducted girls

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Praying hands of the Chibok school girls
A newly released video by Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram is thought to show approximately 130 of the girls who have been missing following the April 14 attack on Chibok Secondary (High) school. Here in a close-up view the hands of some of the girls can be seen as they are praying an Islamic prayer as they sit together on the ground during the newly released taped video. Image: AFP video release screenshot closeup

(WNN) Abuja, NIGERIA, WESTERN AFRICA: As a new video showing what has been described as approximately 130 girls who were abducted by the Nigerian Islamic extremist army known as Boko Haram has been released by AFP news on Monday, global experts have stated that the video is in fact real.

The 27+ minute video shows the current leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, speaking about the conversion of the kidnapped girl students from Christianity to Islam, as he stands and faces the camera with an automatic rifle on his shoulder. Shekau goes on to demand that fellow “members in arms” in Nigerian prison who are part of or connected to Boko Haram, including some who have been linked to Al Qaeda who have been in prison for up to five years, be released in trade for the release of the girls.

“We will never release them until after you release our brethren,” said Shekau in the video.

But officials of the government say they will not consider any release of prisoners.

The video segment of Shekau, which is approximately 17 minutes long and a majority of the video, does not appear to be the same video as the video section depicting the abducted girl students.

The video section depicting the girls, which follows the section showing Shekau, shows a large group of girl students sitting together on the ground. They appear to be praying as they chant words together with as they hold their hands palms-up in their laps. As they chant a prayer, the girls sound as if they are singing the words in a joint effort that appears to be memorized.

Wearing full-length grey and black abayas the faces of the most of the girls look intent on their prayer with eyes that are shut or eyelids down, but the faces of a few of the girls who sit within the group can be seen looking distracted and possibly troubled during the video.

It is completely unknown though through the video what any of the girls are actually feeling.

The location of the video showing the abducted girls has yet to be identified at this time, although the video does appear to have been recorded during the daylight hours. The exact date of the video section showing the girls is also not known.

It is almost certain though that all the parents of the missing girls will be looking closely at the video in efforts to identify their daughters.

With what many parents identified as an “incomprehensible” non-action by Nigerian officials for almost three weeks following the kidnap of the girls from the Chibok Secondary (High) school on April 14, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has now accepted help from the foreign governments of Israel, France, Great Britain and China, as well as the U.S., who have brought in experts to assist in the rescue efforts.

The northeastern city of Chibok, Nigeria in the State of Borno in 2006 had a population of over 66 thousand people. It is a region that does include an active Christian community, something that the NOSEF – Northern States Christian Elders Forum outlines makes the Chibok region a target for Boko Haram insurgents.

On Sunday May 11, 204 U.S. news network CNN highlighted the lone survivor of a Boko Haram attack, Ikenna Nzeribe, who survived miraculously with severe injuries as the Christan church that he was attending in Nigeria was burned to the ground and destroyed along with everyone else who was in the church at the time as the insurgents moved on their attack in 2012. This church location was only 60 miles from the location of the Chibok school where the girl students were recently abducted in April.


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