Following an offer from Boko Haram members to release imprisoned Islamic militants in exchange for the nearly 300 kidnapped schoolgirls, Nigeria’s government has announced that they will not comply with the demand.
Abba Moro, the Interior Minister of the country, said the militant group was in no moral position to make the offer.
“As far as this government is concerned, the option of [the] swap of innocent citizens with people who have taken arms against the country… is not on the table,” he said.
Still, information the ministry released earlier said all options were still on the table, especially after images of the girls alive were released by Boko Haram, showing that each had converted to Islam. It is unclear when the video was taken.
The video, which featured 136 of the missing, showed the young girls wearing full-length cloaks while one explains that she converted from Christianity to Islam because she was on the wrong path. A man off camera can be heard asking her questions and giving orders.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said on the video: “For those who have not accepted Islam, I swear to Allah we will never release them until after you release our brethren in your prison.”
The U.S. State Department said intelligence experts were closely examining the footage for clues to the girls’ whereabouts. But family members are anxious.
A man who is related to three of the girls said the video at first gave him hope, but then made him anxious and tearful.
“Maybe they are converted into another religion by force, so it truly is a kind of terrifying situation,” said the man, who did not want to be named.
The governor of the state where Chibok is located, Borno, ordered officials to distribute the video to parents to help identify the girls.
We’ll keep you updated on the latest in the search for the missing schoolgirls.
SOURCE: BBC | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty