UK & World News

  • 12 May 2014, 12:17

Nigeria Girls' Father Dismisses Boko Haram Offer

The father of two of the missing Nigerian schoolgirls has told Sky News he does not want them released as part of a swap for jailed Boko Haram militants.

In an interview with Sky News' Special Correspondent Alex Crawford, he called on the Nigerian government to find another way to secure his daughters' release.

Boko Haram's leaderAbubakar Shekauhas said the 273 abducted schoolgirls would only be freed in exchange for the release of imprisoned militants.

Speaking directly to camera, in a newly-released video, he said: "It is now four years or five years that you arrested our brethren and they are still in your prison.

"You are doing many things (to them). And now you are talking about these girls. We will never release them until after you release our brethren."

The video also showed more than 100 of the missing girlswearing full-length hijabs and praying.

Shekau said the girls in the video had converted to Islam.

Alex Crawford said the father she spoke to had not seen the video personally and did not know whether his daughters were among the girls pictured.

Nevertheless she said his response to Boko Haram's threat was instant; he did not want more militantson the streets of Nigeria.

He warned that fulfilling the group's demands would only encourage them to carry out more atrocities.

He told her: "Its not right. They'll do it again."

More than 300 girls were abducted from a boarding school in the northeastern town of Chibokin Borno state on April 14. Some managed to escape, but at least 250 are still missing.

Intelligence experts from the UK, US and France are assisting the Nigerian government in the search for the girls.

Nigeria's neighbours - Chad, Cameroon and Niger - are also providing help.