Security chiefs to report next week on efforts to rescue girls
CNN exclusively obtained a "proof-of-life" video of kidnapped schoolgirls
It renewed anger at authorities' failure to rescue girls -- two years on
The Nigerian Senate demanded updates from the nation’s security agencies on attempts to rescue girls abducted from the town of Chibok two years ago.
Lawmakers voted unanimously Friday to have leaders of security agencies brief the Senate on the efforts made to date.
The move follows the reporting by CNN of a proof-of-life video showing 15 of the girls.
“With the video and other things brought in, we need the security agents to brief us on what they have been able to achieve,” Sen. Shehu Sani told CNN by phone Friday.
“We expect the security chiefs to speak to the Senate early next week,” he said.
Sani was the first Nigerian senator to comment on the proof-of-life video, calling it credible during an interview on CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
Asked Friday why the security chiefs had not appeared before the Senate at any point in the last two years, Sani told CNN by phone that the government’s focus had been on military action against Boko Haram, the terrorist group thought to be responsible for the kidnapping.
The military has succeeded in rescuing hundreds of women and girls, but CNN’s video has now given the Senate renewed impetus and added “a new dimension,” Sani said.
CNN’s reporting of the Chibok girls’ proof-of-life video “makes clear” that the kidnapping was not a hoax, and that the girls had not been killed, “or sold as sex slaves” according to the Nigerian senator.
Senators have also pledged to rebuild the school in Chibok, which still sits in disrepair.
It was footage that broke hearts around the world, underlining the ongoing suffering of the Chibok mothers – and the unimaginable plight faced by their daughters.
Mother overcome by proof of life video
Images of a broken Rifkatu Ayuba who recognized her daughter, Saratu, in the video produced by her captors – and obtained exclusively by CNN – prompted renewed outrage over the 2014 kidnappings.
From protesters marching in Nigerian cities to social media users in distant countries raising their voices, the story stirred fresh outpourings of anger and frustration.
And why had the Nigerian government – believed to have been in possession of the video since mid-January – failed to inform the families of the missing girls it had the film, the first glimmer of hope their daughters were still alive?
Shot on Christmas Day, it was released by someone keen to give the girls’ parents hope that some of their daughters are still alive, and to motivate the government to help release them.
Two of the three women to whom CNN screened the footage were able to recognize their daughters, while a third was distressed it did not show her daughter. A classmate of the missing girls also identified several of the teens in the footage.
A classmate of the missing girls also identified several of the teens in the footage.
CNN’s Michael Holmes, Bryony Jones and Christina Zdanowicz contributed to this report.