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Video of Kidnapped Chibok Schoolgirls Gives Christian Parents Hope: 'I Give God Glory She's Alive'

( [email protected] ) Aug 16, 2016 09:59 AM EDT
The parents of one of the Christian Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria are giving thanks to "God Almighty" after their daughter appeared in a new video released by Islamic terror group over the weekend.
A still image from a video posted by Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram on social media, seen by Reuters on August 14, 2016, shows a masked man talking to dozens of girls the group said are school girls kidnapped in the town of Chibok in 2014. Social Media

The parents of one of the Christian Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria are giving thanks to "God Almighty" after their daughter appeared in a new video released by Islamic terror group over the weekend.

"Seeing my baby standing with a terror[ist] with ... ammunition around his neck is not easy for a mother," Esther Yakubu, whose daughter, Maida, was among 270 schoolgirls kidnapped two years ago, told CNN. "But I also give thanks to God almighty. They say most of the girls are dead but mine is alive."

BBC News noted that 50 girls were shown in the video released on Sunday, with a Boko Haram gunman revealing that some of the girls died during air strikes against the militants. 

Wearing a faded black abaya and patterned headscarf, Esther's 18-year-old daughter looks down as a militant armed with a gun instructs her to speak: "We are not happy living here," Maida tells the camera.

Behind her, fellow schoolgirls in floor-length robes watch blankly as she urges their parents to press the Nigerian government to free terrorist fighters in exchange for their release.

"I'm begging our parents to meet the government to release their people so that we can be released," Maida says before revealing that 40 of the girls have been "married" to Islamic fighters.

While the future of their daughter remains uncertain, Esther and her husband Yakubu Kabu remain hopeful, as the video is the first proof that Maida is alive since she was taken from her school in 2014.

"When I saw that video, I am very sad because this is my baby standing there with someone holding a gun," says Yakubu. "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."

The family added that its unwavering Christian belief has kept it going through the darkest times, revealing that they pray together every morning and every midnight that their daughter will make it home safely.

"I'm very, very happy," says Yakubu, having seen the video. "Because as long as she's alive, we will see her one day."

The kidnapping of the schoolgirls sparked international outrage and put pressure on the Nigerian government to do everything it can to secure their release.

The Ministry of Information of Culture said in a statement that the government is now "in touch" with Boko Haram and "working for the girls' release."

"We are being extremely careful because the situation has been compounded by the split in the leadership of Boko Haram," added Alhaji Lai Mohammed, minister of Information of Culture, referring to recent news of division within the Islamic-State affiliated terror group.

Back in May, a 19-year-old girl and a 4-month-old baby were found at the edge of the Sambisa Forest, one of Boko Haram's hideouts, and was identified as the first Chibok girl to be rescued from the terrorists. The video is the first to be seen since CNN obtained footage in April purportedly showing 15 of the girls.

Tags : Boko Haram, Chibok, Chibok schoolgirls, Islamic extremist, terrorism, Muslim, Islam, Nigeria, Christian