I would rather have my child die - Nigerian dad
13 May 2014, 13:00
Cape Town – The father of one of Nigeria’s kidnapped schoolgirls has reportedly said he would rather have his child die than have her convert to Islam or be exchanged for Boko Haram prisoners.
According to The Telegraph, the man said his daughter was a Christian and would rather she died a "princess" rather than convert to Islam.
The man's remarks came after the Islamist group released a video on Monday claiming to show the missing Nigerian girls and saying they have converted to Islam.
In the video obtained by AFP, the group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, speaks for 17 minutes before showing about 130 girls in black and grey full-length hijabs sitting on scrubland near trees, reciting the first chapter of the Muslim holy book, the Koran, and holding their palms upwards in prayer.
Boko Haram prisoners
A total of 276 girls were abducted on 14 April from the north-eastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, which has a sizeable Christian community. At least 223 are still missing.
According to AFP Shekau said the girls could be released once Nigeria freed all the Boko Haram prisoners it has in custody.
The government, however, has rejected the proposal and said it was not interested in any conditions dictated by the extremists, who have killed thousands in a five-year uprising and claimed the shocking 14 April mass abduction.
The father of one of the girls concurred with the stance taken by the government saying a prisoner exchange would simply encourage more kidnappings.
"Our children are not prisoners"
A screengrab taken from a video released by Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram shows the abducted girls wearing wearing the full-length hijab. (AFP)
"Our daughters are not prisoners, and they should not be exchanged for anyone," the man was quoted as saying, adding that the government had the mandate to rescue them.
Boko Haram has been waging an increasingly deadly insurgency in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north since 2009, attacking schools teaching a "Western" curriculum, churches and government targets.
Check out the video below