Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
A total of 77 abducted school girls have so far been identified by their parents and guardians from the latest video released by the Boko Haram sect on Monday.
An additional 23 girls identified Tuesday evening at the Government House, Maiduguri, added to the initially announced 54 names, brought the figure to 77.
The identification exercise continues today and hopefully more girls will be identified from the 130 displayed in the 17 minutes video.
Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima has directed that the names of all the girls in the video be established and compared with school and security records to enhance the search for them.
The video released and Monday and the subsequent identification of some of the girls quells speculation that they were never truly kidnapped and that it was just another political gimmick to turn the hearts of the masses against the federal government..
The U.S. team already on ground in Nigeria to help find the girls says it is studying the video and has no reason to doubt its authenticity.
Nigerian troops are also not giving up hope that the abducted girls would be rescued and reunited with their families, in spite of the slow success rate since the search began over a month ago.
President Goodluck Jonathan has sworn not to “sleep” until every one of the girls have been found and has solicited the support of the international community in achieving this.
Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shakau, said in the video, however, that he will exchange the freedom of the girls for that of his men in detention, a deal the federal government says is unrealistic.
Shekau has also threatened to “sell” the girls in human markets.
Over 200 school girls sitting for the just concluded West African Examination Council, WAEC, test at the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State were kidnapped on April 14.