Nigeria schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram have been converted to Islam and won’t be freed until the government released imprisoned militants, Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the militant outfit is heard saying in a fresh video released on Monday.
Boko Haram have released a fresh video of 17 minutes in which its leader Abubakar Shekau is demanding the release of jailed comrades in exchange of the kidnapped girls.
The leader, who had in a previous video, threatened that the girls will be sold in a human market as slaves, now said that they had been converted to Islam.
The video shows over 130 missing schoolgirls who are seen clad in full-length hijabs, praying in an unknown location.
As warned earlier by Boko Haram former negotiator Shehu Sani, the militant outfit is using the abducted girls as “bargaining chips”, demanding the release of its militants in exchange.
As the international efforts gathered pace to help Nigerian government with technical and military assistance, ex-negotiator Shehu Sani on Friday warned against the rescue of the abducted school girls and said that the militant group is planning to exchange the hostages with its jailed comrades.
In an earlier video, the same Boko Haram leader had said that the girls were not meant to be in school and it is Allah’s instruction that they must be sold.
There were previous reports that the girls, who were in final year of the boarding school, were forced to marry their abductors at a normal bride rate of $12.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Borno state has said that he has received information about the missing girls’ possible whereabouts.
Talking to the BBC, Borno state Governor Kashim Shettima said that there were reports that the missing girls had been sighted and the information had been conveyed to the military for verification.
Earlier reports feared that the girls might have been taken across the border to the neighbouring countries like Chad or Cameroon, but the Governor said he didn’t think so.
It’s been almost a month that the militant group Boko Haram abducted 276 girls from a boarding school in Chibok province on April 14, however the government has been struggling to find any information about them.