‘All girls in Boko Haram video are ours’

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IOL pic may14 nigeria girls protesters with placards

Reuters

Activist Aisha Yesufu (centre) shouts slogans as she holds placards with fellow protesters in Abuja on May 13, 2014. Yesufu, a businesswoman who is originally from Kano and has two children, has joined daily protests calling for the release of secondary school girls abducted from the remote village of Chibok. Picture: Joe Penney

Abuja -

The female hostages shown in a video released by Boko Haram have been identified as students of the secondary school attacked by the Islamists on April 14, the area governor said on Tuesday.

“All the girls in that video were identified to be students of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok,” said north-eastern Borno state's governor, Kashim Shettima.

Shettima spoke to demonstrators outside his residence in the capital Abuja, where the group had marched as a part of a wave of daily protests demanding the release of the girls.

The governor had organised a viewing of the video in Borno's capital, Maiduguri, for parents and relatives of the hostages.

“I thank God I saw my daughter... in the picture,” Lawan Zannah told AFP at the government complex in Maiduguri, where the video was shown.

“They are our girls that were abducted one month ago,” he said.

In the video, obtained by AFP on Monday, Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau said the 223 girls he is holding hostage could be released if Nigeria frees members of the militant group it has in custody.

On Tuesday, Nigeria said it was open to dialogue with Boko Haram, including on a possible deal to secure the girls' release.

Shettima said the group that saw the video on Tuesday included the school's principal Asabe Kwabura, some parents and teachers.

Only 36 of the girls in the video were identified by name.

The remainder were definitively recognised as Chibok students, according to Shettima, but their names had not yet been established.

“Those girls are my own daughters,” the governor said. “I am traumatised.” - Sapa-AFP


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