Nigeria minister of Interior, Abba Moro has rejected Boko Haram’s request on the federal government to release its members in various detention centres in the country as a condition for allowing the over 200 female students of the Government Girls Secondary Schools, Chibok in Borno state whom they abducted about a month ago to go.
The Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau had, in a new video released earlier today, gave as a condition for the release of more than 200 abducted female students, the government acceptance to release all the Boko Haram members in various detention centres in the country.
Asked if the government would reject the suggestion by Shekau in the video, the Interior Minister said: “Of course.”
He made it clear that the issue in question is not about Boko Haram giving conditions, but did not elaborate.
Shekau made the claim in a video obtained by AFP on Monday claiming to show about 130 of the 276 girls abducted from their school in the remote northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, on April 14.
“We will never release them (the girls) until after you release our brethren,” he said.
The militant leader, who has made prisoner exchange demands before, said that some of the teenagers had converted from Christianity to Islam.
The International Crisis Group said in a report published last month that Boko Haram had written an open letter in 2011 to the governor of northern Kano state, demanding the release of detainees.
Shekau repeated the demand in a video released last week claiming responsibility for the mass kidnapping that has sparked global condemnation and calls for action.
Nigeria’s military has been accused of rounding up thousands of Boko Haram suspects, including women and children, and holding them in atrocious conditions that have been criticised by rights groups.
On March 14, Boko Haram fighters stormed the notorious Giwa military barracks in the state capital of Borno, Maiduguri, freeing hundreds of militants.
Amnesty International, however, said on March 31 that there was “credible evidence” that more than 600 people, most of them unarmed recaptured detainees, were summarily killed in the military response.