(Voice of the Persecuted) With no news for months, their parents and many others have worried about the condition of the 218 Chibok schoolgirls, a majority Christians, still missing. In a disturbing video shared below, Boko Haram recently released new footage showing around 50 of the abducted girls dressed from head to toe in hijab’s—Islamic attire. It’s heartbreaking to note that the face of every girl held an expression of hopelessness, with some even weeping. Others held babies, obviously raped after forcibly converted to Islam then married off to their kidnappers. It’s sickening to imagine the mental and physical abuse they have endured. God have mercy upon them.
The girls were kidnapped in mid April 2014 when Boko Haram militants attacked the Government Girls Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria. Due to security risks, the school had already been closed for a month. Students had been called in only to take final exams.
Disguised as guards, they entered the school and told the girls to come with them. Many of the female students were taken away in trucks to the fortified camps of the Islamic group in the Sambisa Forest. The militants also set on fire to homes during the attack.
A militant dressed in camouflage and holding a rifle spoke in the Hausa language and claimed the girls have resigned themselves to their fate. He warned if the Nigerian government does not give up the battle against the radical Islamic group and release all Boko Haram members, the girls would not be seen again. He also threatened the girls will be killed if the military tries to rescue them. In Vanguard’s report, per the news agency’s sources, the militant in the video is believed to be Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s notorious leader. Though unseen for some time and thought to be killed during an airstrike, it’s recently been confirmed he is alive.
His message translated by Vanguard (references to Allah have been changed to God by the news agency):
We thank God for giving us the opportunity to send this message to the parents of these girls [pointing at the girls sitting behind him.]
It pleased God to let us have these girls in our captivity for over two years now. Our first message is to the parents of the girls to let them know that their daughters are still with us, some of them.
I also want to tell them to ask the Nigerian government to release our brethren, especially those in Maiduguri, Lagos, Abuja and other places across Nigeria. They should be released immediately.
You all knew that we had the girls, but God never allowed you to know their location and you will never know by God’s grace. You keep lying in your media that you will rescue them, they have been with us for over two years, yet you can’t even know where they are. You have just been lying about these girls, people should know that.
Also, for the over two years that we have been with these girls, about 40 of them are married, some are dead as a result of airstrike by infidels. We will show you a video of how your own aircraft dropped a bomb that killed some of these girls. Some of the girls have suffered fractures and other forms of injuries as a result of the air strikes.
As you can see, these are the girls, all we want is for you to release our brethren otherwise you will never get these girls God willing. This in short is our message to the Federal Government and the parents of the Chibok Girls.
As long as the government does not release our people, we will also never release these girls, that is our message. I specially informed our people in captivity in Lagos that they should be patient and continue with their prayers, God will take us to where no one expects and we will rescue them. All those in Lagos, Maiduguri and other southern parts of the country. Keep praying, very soon, we will rescue you.
Let me conclude this message by saying that many people have been coming to us lying that they were sent by the Nigerian government to get the girls released. Let the government and the whole world know that we have not sent anyone to negotiate with the government on our behalf over these girls. We have dealt with you in the past and you know our recommended negotiators. If you need to, you should talk to them. We don’t use our own people to negotiate with you, we use your own people such as journalists to talk with you. We have not sent any other persons. You know that we prefer to use journalists known to you.
Let me say again, release our people and we release your girls, otherwise, they will never be released. If you think you have the power to come and rescue them, go ahead and try.
President Buhari, your Army has been lying to you that they have finished us, let them try and see if they can rescue these girls alive.
Obviously pressured and directed, one of the girls was chosen to make an appeal on the video. She claimed her name was Maida Yakubu and shared that some of the girls had been killed in aerial raids targeting Boko Haram strongholds. She also said 40 have been “married” to fighters. She pleaded,
“Oh you, my people and our parents, you just have to please come to our rescue: We are suffering here, the aircraft have come to bombard us and killed many of us. Some are wounded. Every day we are in pains and suffering, so are our babies … No one cares for us.
“Please go and beg the government of Nigeria to release the members of our abductors so that they too can free us to let us come home.”
The girl was later indentified by her parents.
There’s also footage of bodies alleged to be that of girls killed during airstrikes. Many believe they were not killed by the Air Force, but ordered to be executed by Shekau for the purpose of the video message. It is also being questioned if any of the dead girls were even from Chibok, as the schoolgirls are known to be Boko Haram’s greatest bargaining chip.
In part of a statement by Bring Back Our Girls leaders, Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu, said:
“853 days since the abduction of our Chibok Girls, we woke up to a video on the state of our girls. We are left with mixed feelings of grief and strengthened hope as the chilling words continue to sink in.
“Today, 28 months since the abduction, we call on the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, China, Australia, Israel, agencies like the United Nations and African Union, and all who previously expressed intentions to support the rescue efforts, to reengage and adopt a strategic rescue position. As global citizens, this is the least our #ChibokGirls deserve.”
Please keep the Chibok girls and their families in your prayers. Pray the militants (persecutors) taking part in the insanity will have the scales removed and see the true evil behind it. To repent and turn to Christ. Please remember all our Nigerian brothers and sisters in your daily prayers.
Voice of the Persecuted is on the ground in Nigeria to care for our Christian brothers and sisters who have suffered brutal persecution.
We are committed to being a VOICE for persecuted Nigerian Christians and bring them comfort, relief, and encouragement. We have committed to a long-term mission in Nigeria. When they are able to return home, we will be there to encourage and help rebuild villages and their lives. They will not be forgotten!
We want you to know that even in great hardship, they thank God and feel extremely blessed that He has kept His hand on them. They’re so encouraged and thank God for each one of you who have joined this mission through prayer and your support.
Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
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Categories: Africa, Boko Haram, Christian persecution, news
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