A video viewing session organized by the Borno State government for parents and relatives of schoolgirls abducted in Chibok, Borno State by the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, has led to the identification of 80 of the students out of the 130 seen in a video that was released yesterday by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.
Parents, community leaders, and some of the girls who managed to escape the night the militants raided the dormitory of the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School helped make the identifications. The abducted girls were gathered from a variety of high schools in Chibok and its surrounding towns, and were gathered to sit final exams.
Earlier, the Borno State government had announced the identification of 54 of the girls shortly after three mothers, five fathers and eight escaped schoolgirls arrived at Government House, Maiduguri to review the video released by Boko Haram.
The viewing of the video took place at the office of the Chief of Staff to Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State as some of the escaped schoolgirls showed up accompanied by the chairman of the Chibok local government area. The students and local government chairman arrived at the chief of staff’s office close to 2 p.m., accompanied by eight armed vigilantes. Governor Shettima was reportedly not in his office as a source in the state disclosed that he had traveled to Abuja. The group spent to three hours viewing the video before leaving Government House once again escorted by the vigilantes.
Earlier today, one of the mothers whose daughter is among the kidnapped girls told SaharaReporters that concerned parents had heard “a credible rumor” that the girls are still in Sambisa Forest Reserve.
Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, had released a video yesterday showing the abducted girls fully garbed in Muslim hijab dress. He claimed that the girls had converted to Islam. Those claims prompted a spokesman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to issue a statement accusing the Islamist group of nursing a religious agenda to forcibly convert Christians in the country. CAN called on the Federal Government and the international community to help combat Boko Haram’s fundamentalist agenda.[Sahara Reporters]