#Chibok girls: a heartbreaking new video seen; negotiator speaks
Special to USAfricaonline.com, CLASSmagazine, and USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston. Follow Twitter.com/Chido247, Facebook.com/USAfricaChido
As the quest to secure the release of the Chibok Nigeria girls kidnapped on April 15 by the Islamists Boko Haram gunmen, “a heartbreaking new video of the Nigerian schoolgirls shows them bravely speaking out about their ordeal
for the first time.”
According a report in today’s London-based newspaper The Mail on Sunday, the new video which has not been released to the public was taken in a forest clearing a month after their abduction from the predominantly christian town of Chibok, in north eastern Nigeria state of Borno.
The Mail reports that “the girls in the video look healthy, but it is understood that fraught negotiations are under way to broker the release several pupils who have fallen ill, including one with a broken wrist.
In the video, eight girls, dressed in their home-made school uniforms of pale blue gingham, plead for release as they stand courageously in front of the camera. They are clearly scared, upset and trying to be brave.
Each of them walks in turn to a spot in front of a white sheet fixed to a crude frame between the trees.
Four of them can be heard clearly, in their Hausa language, stating that they were taken by force and that they are hungry. A tall girl, aged about 18, says tearfully: ‘My family will be so worried.’
Another, speaking softly, says: ‘I never expected to suffer like this in my life.’ A third says: ‘They have taken us away by force.’ The fourth girl complains: ‘We are not getting enough food.’
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video of the kidnapped girls praying after their conversion to Islam
The video, taken by an intermediary on May 19, has been shown to President Goodluck Jonathan. It was intended to serve as ‘proof of life’ for the girls and to encourage the President to accede to the terrorists’ demands.
Two earlier videos showed the girls seated on the ground, dressed in hijabs, reciting the Koran, and Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau declaring he would sell them into slavery, or marry them off to their kidnappers, if members of his sect were not released from prison.
Pressure from the international community and criticism of the President’s slow response to the kidnapping have led to a series of contradictory pronouncements from his government. Ministers have declared they will not negotiate with Boko Haram, or consider the release of prisoners, while official spokesmen have said ‘the window is always open for dialogue’.
[Despite denials], the Nigerian government has been engaged in negotiations with Boko Haram’s spiritual leader Abubakar Shekau in a bid to secure the girls’ release.
[On the whereabouts of the Chibok girls] It is believed the hostages have been split into at least four groups.
Dr Stephen Davis, an Australian who has advised three Nigerian presidents on how to negotiate with the country’s militant groups, has spent the past month trying to help free the girls.
‘The vast majority of the Chibok girls are not being held in Nigeria…. They are in camps across the Nigerian border in Cameroon, Chad and Niger. I say the “vast majority” as I know a small group was confirmed to me to be in Nigeria last week when we sought to have them released.’
‘One of that small group of girls is ill and we had hoped we might convince the commander of the group holding her that she should be released so we could give her medical treatment,’ Dr Davis said.
‘There are other girls who are not well and we have come close to having them released but their captors fear a trap in which they will be captured in the handover process.
‘One girl has what I assume is a broken wrist as they demonstrate to me how she holds her hand. I have been told that others are sick and in need of medical attention.’
A military source said: ‘This has been a race against time from the minute they were captured. As soon as the girls left Nigerian soil it was always going to be more difficult.
‘The government made no attempt at a rescue until a month after they were taken. Now the situation gets more serious by the day.
‘Any sort of attempt to get to them would have to be cleared by the governments of the other nations.’
The heavily armed terror group have moved the girls to a ‘safe location’
Scathing condemnations of Nigeria’s failure to address the menace of Boko Haram, ever since a proposed peace deal failed last August – leading to the extension of a state of emergency in three northern states – continued worldwide last week.
U.S Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Nigeria had been ‘tragically and unacceptably slow’ to begin a search.
USAfricaonline.com cited the harsh comments of U.S former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo (quoted from his interview on Bloomberg TV Africa); and Nigeria’s former anti-corruption czar Nuhu Ribadu who assessed Jonathan’s government as a “total failure” on their handling of the Chibok crises.
On #BokoHaram and #Chibok Girls, Obasanjo says Jonathan Slow, in denial
Nigeria’s former President retired General Olusegun Obasanjo has taken a sharp aim at the handling of the Boko Haram-Chibk girls abduction by President Goodluck Jonathan and returned with a conclusion: slow and in denial.
“The president did not believe that those girls were abducted for almost 18 days,” Olusegun Obasanjo said in an interview on Bloomberg TV Africa. “If the president got the information within 12 hours of the act and he reacted immediately, I believe those girls would have been rescued within 24 hours, maximum 48 hours.”
Instead, Obasanjo said, “the president had doubts: ‘Is this true, or is it a ploy by people who don’t want me to be president again?’”
Jonathan has been criticized by local and international groups, U.S former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and several human rights groups for the pace of his response and handling of the crisis. His supporters argue that there is reason in his pace.
On Nigeria’s Boko Haram, New York Times Nick Kristof misanalysis on CNN Fareed Zakaria’s GPS. By Chido Nwangwu
Special commentary to USAfricaonline.com, CLASSmagazine, and USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston. Follow Twitter.com/Chido247, Facebook.com/USAfricaChido
A few minutes ago, today May 11, 2014, on #CNN @FareedZakaria, the continuation of fanciful misanalyses and non-factual views about the root causes and “explanation” for the unrelenting mayhem unleashed by the violent Islamic sect #BokoHaram in #Nigeria were repeated by the award-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof @NickKristof and Eliza Griswold, author of the new book The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam.
Kristof especially, wrongly, argues that Boko Haram and similar groups are driven by economic disparity in Nigeria. not true in fact and logic.
Griswold says with a certain antiseptic disdain that Boko Haram is a “mess.” Simply a mess? After killing at least 2,000 Nigerians within 5 years.
Griswold adds it is more a struggle between moderate and extreme Muslims…. Seriously? I disagree.
First, I know that targeting and slaughtering and bombing, primarily, christians and demanding they leave the mainly Islamic northern region of Nigeria and visiting “unholy” fire and thunder on others they consider “Children of a lesser God” is mechanized, religio-political bigotry. It is not economic; it is not moderates versus extremists.
Second, as a child survivor of the 1967-1970 Nigeria-Biafra war, I know the familiar consequences of mis-analyzing and understating the militarized, offensive moves of bigots, especially armed and well-funded groups such as Nigeria’s Boko Haram.
I will close this brief response, for now; and available to debate the Boko Haram and Nigeria’s religio-political crises, here and elsewhere.
•Dr. Chido Nwangwu, moderator of the Achebe Colloquium (Governance, Security, and Peace in Africa) December 7-8, 2012 at Brown University in Rhode Island and former adviser on Africa business/issues to the Mayor of Houston, is the Founder & Publisher of Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks since 1992, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; CLASSmagazine, AchebeBooks.com, the USAfrica-powered e-groups of AfricanChristians, Nigeria360 and the largest pictorial events megasite on the African diaspora www.PhotoWorks.TV . He was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn e-mail: Chido247@Gmail.com wireless 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436).
VIDEO #CNN special #CHIBOK Girls n #BokoHaram Live intvw wt the Founder of USAfrica multimedia and public policy networks Chido Nwangwu. CNN anchors John Berman n Michaela Pereira, on May 6, 2014.
On Chibok Girls kidnap, terrorism and Boko Haram crises, President Jonathan should launch ‘Operation Iron Fist’, not this committee. By Chido Nwangwu
Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com and the Nigeria360 e-group. http://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/
IF any of the Nigerian President’s 100 advisers has the polite courage for the extraordinary task of reminding His Excellency of his foremost, sworn, constitutional obligation to the national interest about security and safety of Nigerians and all who sojourn in Nigeria, please whisper clearly to Mr. President that I said, respectfully: Nigerians, at home and abroad, are still concerned and afraid for living in what I call Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. FULL text of commentary, exclusively, at USAfricaonline.com http://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/
USAfrica: BOKO HARAM’s latest killings sharpen divide for security team at Nigeria’s presidency.
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Dancing with “ghosts” of Boko Haram, President Jonathan, Sultan Abubakar and Nigeria’s national security
The Boko Haram radical islamic sect has destabilized parts of Nigeria’s north east region. USAfricaonline.com has published several detailed insights and analyses of the Boko Haram and Nigeria’s national security. https://www.google.com/webhp?tab=ww&authuser=0&ei=79JiU77MDcmYyATN3oDQDQ&ved=0CBcQ1S4#authuser=0&q=Boko+Haram+USAfrica+Chido+Nwangwu
Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu. http://usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=USAfrica+Chido+Nwangwu+al-qaeda+terrrorism+nigeria&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 http://usafricaonline.com/tag/al-qaeda/
310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com on July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584
WHY I CELEBRATE THE LIFE AND WORKS OF NELSON MANDELA. By Chido Nwangwu http://usafricaonline.com/2010/07/15/mandela-why-i-celebrate-his-life-works-by-chido-nwangwu/
and friendship hold lessons for humanity and Africans, the author Chido Nwangwu takes a measure of their works and consequence to write that Mandela and Achebe have left “footprints of greatness.”
He chronicles, movingly, his 1998 reporting from the Robben Island jail room in South Africa where Mandela was held for decades through his 20 years of being close to Achebe. He moderated the 2012 Achebe Colloquium at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.”I’ll forever remember having walked inside and peeped through that historic Mandela jail cell (where he was held for most of his 27 years in unjust imprisonment) at the dreaded Robben Island, on March 27, 1998, alongside then Editor-in-chief of TIME magazine and later news chief executive of the CNN, Walter Isaacson (and others) when President Bill Clinton made his first official trip to South Africa and came to Robben Island. Come to this island of scourge and you will understand, in part, the simple greatness and towering grace of Nelson Mandela”, notes Chido Nwangwu, award-winning writer, multimedia specialist and founder of USAfricaonline.com, the first African-owned U.S-based newspaper published on the internet, in his first book; he writes movingly from his 1998 reporting from South Africa on Mandela. http://www.mandelaachebechido.com/
Obama’s Africa agenda, our business and democracy. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfricaonline.com and CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal
How and Why Romney beat Obama in first presidential debate. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica. http://usafricaonline.com/2012/10/03/how-and-why-romney-beat-obama-in-first-presidential-debate-by-chido-nwangwu/
Jonathan’s Boko Haram problem and firing of Ringim. By Chido Nwangwu
Related insight: USAfrica’s October 17, 2001 special report/alert: Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu. http://usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html
• For seasoned insights and breaking news on these issues, log on to USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica powered e-groups including USAfrica at googlegroups. Follow us at Facebook.com/USAfricaChido, Facebook.com/USAfrica247 n Twitter.com/Chido247
USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin. By Chido Nwangwu. http://usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/
Related and prior reporting on the Jos crises on USAfrica, click here: http://usafricaonline.com/2011/08/16/10-killed-in-renewed-violence-near-jos/
News archives related to Jos, here http://usafricaonline.com/?s=jos
310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com on July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html
Trump looks foolish and crazy screaming about Obama’s birth certificates, college records and Muslim connection. By Raynard Jackson