Boko Haram terrorists have released a video purportedly showing scores of schoolboys they kidnapped from Government Science Secondary School in Kankara local government of Katsina State.
The video was released on Thursday, the same day President Muhammadu Buhari who has refused to visit the parents of the kidnapped students marked his 78th birthday. Buhari was in Daura in his home state of Katsina when the kidnapping happened. But he went to visit his cows instead.
The Boko Haram footage contradicted a claim by Buhari’s media aide Garba Shehu that “returning Kankara students debriefed by the military disclosed that 10 of their colleagues were taken by bandits”.
The video is six minutes and 30 seconds long. It features speeches from Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau and one of the kidnapped Kankara schoolboys who looked perplexed and bloodied.
In the video, the bloodied boy pleaded for negotiations and urged the Buhari government to abort any military rescue operation.
“Please, you have to dissolve any gang of vigilantes, close any kind of schools, excluding Islamiyyah (Qur’anic schools),” the student says on apparent orders from the terrorists.
“All the military troops who have come here to help us, please send them back,” he begged.
The boy said 520 students were abducted, but some have died. He called on the Buhari government to pay a ransom for the freedom of those still alive.
At a point in the video, many of the boys started wailing “Help us! Help us!”
“In the last part of the video, Shekau spoke in an audio saying they released this video for the purpose of those who denied his claim,” human rights activist Bulama Bukarti noted.
“He claimed yet again that they’re doing God’s work.
“This shows that the boys are still in the northwest and that they are being held by Shekau’s Zamfara cell.”