West & Central Africa

University staff plea for release in new Boko Haram video

Three staff of the University of Maiduguri abducted by Boko Haram last Tuesday have appeared in a propaganda video pleading with Nigeria’s acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, to negotiate their release with the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram.
The three – Yusuf Ibrahim, a lecturer with Geology department, Haruna, their driver and Dr Solomon, a Christian lecturer said, “We are recording this video on the 28 July 2017. I want to re-emphasize that we were caught on the 25th July 2017.”

Dr Solomon said on the video: “I want to call on the acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo to come to our rescue to meet the demand of soldiers of Khalifa under the leadership of Abu-Musab Al-Barnawi. They have promised us that if their demands are met, they will release us immediately.”

Solomon went on to explain the importance of the reason for their work and why the government must negotiate their release. “I want to call on the attention of the entire country that we were captured doing the work of exploration of acquiring gravity, magnetic and soil geo-chemistry for exploration in the Nigeria sector of the Chad basin which would boost the economy of the nation.”

Al Barnawi Boko Haram Sectional Leader

Solomon then advised the military not to attempt to rescue them.

Solomon said in the rehearsed statement that negotiation and ransom was the best option.

The University staff were abducted, along with unspecified number of people when the Boko Haram Islamic group attacked a convoy of a team of explorers. 50 people were killed including 14 soldiers.

Danjuma Gambo, the spokesman for the University of Maiduguri confirmed the identities of the three kidnapped men in the video to AFP, “They are our staff but one more is yet to be accounted for,” Danjuma said.

The Nigeria Army had reported that all the University staff and geologists have been rescued.

Residents from Maiduguri still maintain that Boko Haram still controls territories in Borno state, despite the government’s claims.

 

Hassan John Is West Africa Editor of GCN and a Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos

Image Credits: Screenshots Boko Haran online videos