In the video, one of the girls, was used by the group as a spokesperson. Speaking in her mother tongue, she said that some of the girls had died due to military airstrikes. She also pleaded that the condition for their release – exchange of Boko Haram members with Chibok girls – be met by the federal government.
After seeing the video, the young girl’s mother, Esther Yakubu, identified her as her child, Maida Dorcas Yakubu.
“Seeing my baby standing with a terrorist with … ammunition around his neck is not easy for a mother,” Esther told CNN. “But I also give thanks to God almighty. They say most of the girls are dead but mine is alive,” she added.
This was the first time she and her husband, Yakubu Kabu are seeing their little girl over 2 years after their abduction.
Dorcas is one of five children (two boys and three girls) born to the couple, a driver and a local government worker.
“When I saw that video, I am very sad because this is my baby standing there with someone holding a gun,” Yakubu said. “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.
The family spoke of Dorcas’ ambition of becoming a lecturer, and how much she valued her education.
“I promised her that I will try my utmost best to say that she makes first and second degree. Unfortunately … she has not graduated from secondary school. Not only that she’s nowhere to be found,” Esther said.
They decried, what she sees as the lack of action by successive governments in securing the release of the abducted schoolgirls.
“The government has not done anything. 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 that escaped (in May 2016), she managed to escape herself. It’s unfair,” Esther lamented.
The family expressed hope that their daughter will return one day.
Photo and Story: Stephanie Busari and Byron Jones/CNN