Chibok parents angered by Abubakar Shekau saying 'bring back our brethren' in new video
They say President Buhari needs to act urgently to negotiate their freedom
An ISIS flag is visible in the background. That terrorist organization has said it is supporting Shekau’s rival, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, as the legitimate leader of the Nigerian ISIS-affiliated terrorist movement.
The seemingly indestructible Boko Haram leader was back again on Sunday in a video this time mocking not only the Nigerian army who he urged to “die with envy” but also the parents of the abducted Chibok girls and the Bring Back our Girls movement.
“To the people of Chibok: there’s still a long way to go,” he says towards the end of the nearly 40-minute long video. “There’s still more to do by Bring Back Our Girls. We don’t (bring) back your girls. If you want your girls, bring back our brethren. Bring back our brethren.”
In previous videos released by the militant group, Shekau has made demands calling for the release of Boko Haram fighters in exchange for the Chibok girls.
Some of their relatives told CNN that this new video underlines that the Nigerian government needs to act urgently to secure the release of the missing girls.
“This is the only alternative for us,” he said. “We are begging the government to do this (release the Boko Haram fighters) so that we can get our girls. It’s urgent. We need them to do whatever they can do to get the girls.”
Tsambido Hosea, whose four nieces are among the missing girls, told CNN: “We are very angry. Shekau is mocking us, mocking the government and the army. We are angry at our government, they have given him the chance to do this. They need to act fast because it will be disastrous.”
The president’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, told CNN the government was working hard to rescue the Chibok girls and referenced a speech given by President Buhari at the recently concluded United Nations General Assembly.
Buhari told the UN, “The challenge is in getting credible and bona fide leadership of Boko Haram to discuss with. The split in the insurgent group is not helping matters. The government had reached out, ready to negotiate, but it became difficult to identify credible leaders. We will welcome intermediaries such as UN outfits, to step in.”
The latest video was a response to the Nigerian army’s claim that it “fatally wounded” Shekau in a raid on August 19. The army dismissed the video Sunday as evidence of Shekau’s desperation.
“The video has shown beyond all reasonable doubt the earlier suspicion that the purported factional terrorists’ group leader is mentally sick and unstable,” the army statement said.
CNN cannot independently confirm when the video was shot, or confirm its claims.
Boko Haram recently split into two factions, one backed by ISIS, which declared the son of Boko Haram’s founder as the recognized leader of the terrorist group.
However, a Boko Haram insider told CNN last month that Shekau holds control of the Chibok girls and is thought to be hiding out in the Sambisa forest.
Aminu Abubakar in Kano, Nigeria contributed to this report.