Chibok Parents 'Give God Glory' Girls Still Alive, but Demand Gov't Rescue Children From Boko Haram
The devastated parents of the over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from the Christian town of Chibok in Nigeria have said that they praise God their daughters are still alive following the release of a new Boko Haram video, but the time has come for the government to act and save them.
Yakubu Kabu, one of the parents of the kidnapped girls, said while it was hard to watch the new video that shows the girls in bondage surrounded by armed Islamic militants, at least it gives hope that they can be rescued.
"When I saw that video, I am very sad because this is my baby standing there with someone holding a gun," Yakubu said, according to CNN. "All of us we start crying."
"I give God the glory that she's alive. This video gives us hope that our daughter can be rescued," he added.
Esther Yakubu, the mother of Maida, was also thankful that her child is still alive.
"Seeing my baby standing with a terror[ist] with ... ammunition around his neck is not easy for a mother," she said. "But I also give thanks to God almighty. They say most of the girls are dead but mine is alive."
Maida is seen speaking in the newly released video, pleading with her parents to meet with government officials and convince them to release Boko Haram fighters so that the girls can be freed, following the demands of the terror group.
The Nigerian government has insisted on multiple occasions that it is doing everything possible to rescue the kidnapped schoolgirls and drive out the terror group from the country, which has been wreaking chaos in Nigeria since 2009, but several of the parents are saying that there are no more excuses left.
The BringBackOurGirls movement said on Sunday that President Muhammadu Buhari has not provided "the sort of response we demand," pointing out that only one Chibok girl so far has been rescued from the group that was taken in April 2014.
"We state categorically that the excuse of a split within the terrorists' ranks or a period of validation of the authenticity of their claims will not suffice this time," the group said in a statement on Sunday.
It added that it will hold another march to spur the government to action.
"We shall press these demands with a march to the Villa in the next few days," it said.
The parents of the kidnapped girls said they last met with Buhari in January, but there has been little progress in the search and rescue operation since.
They said that "we demand an immediate, transparent, action and results-oriented response plan by the government."
"Nothing short of the Nigerian state being in contact with the parents, confirming identities of our girls, providing psychosocial support where necessary, and most importantly, articulating an action plan will be acceptable," the movement insisted.
Esther Yakubu reflected those frustrations in her comments to media, blaming successive Nigerian governments for a lack of action.
"The government has not done anything," she added. "When they attacked Chibok, the girls that escaped managed to escape themselves, by dropping ... down from the truck -- some girls even broke their legs.
"[They got] no aid from the government, no counseling. Nothing at all. Amina Ali who escaped [in May 2016], she managed to escape herself. It's unfair," the mother continued.