Please, negotiate our release!
This is the plea of three of the staff of the University of the Maiduguri, UNIMAID, abducted by members of the terrorists group, Boko Haram, during an ambush on Tuesday.
They made the plea in a four minute, twenty seconds video released by Boko Haram.
Sitting in a room with the walls covered with purple curtain, the three UNIMAID staff introduced themselves as Yusuf Ibrahim, lecturer, Geology Department, University of Maiduguri; Haruna, driver from the University of Maiduguri and Dr. Solomon a lecturer from the University of Maiduguri.
It would be recalled that the UNIMAID staff were attacked while carrying out an oil exploration research subcontracted to the institution by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Although the Nigeria Army had earlier claimed it had rescued all the NNPC geologists attacked by the terrorists, UNIMAID Acadamic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU had denied the claim, saying that some of its members were still missing.
Speaking in the video, one of the captives, Solomon, sitting in the middle, said they were abducted on July 25 by Boko Haram members.
He referred to members of the terrorists group as “soldiers of Khalifa Albarnawi”.
The Albarnawi faction broke away from the Abubakar Shekau group.
Solomon who spoke briefly in Hausa before changing to English said the federal government and other relevant authorities should ensure their release, by complying with the demands of the terrorists.
He specifically warned government not to use excessive force in effecting their release.
Said Solomon: “We are recording this video on the 28 of July 2017. I want to re-emphasise that we were caught on the 25th of July 2017.
“I want to call on the entire community of University of Maiduguri, I also want to call on our coordinator of the project, Professor Saidu Baba, and Professor Adamu Zubama, I want to call on the leadership of ASUU under the leadership of Dani Mamman; I want to call on the Vice Chancellor University of Maiduguri, Professor Ibrahim Njodi; I want to call on the state governor, His Excellency Kashim Shettima, I want to call on the NNPC, for which this group is doing a collaborative work with the University of Maiduguri, under exploration; I want to call on the leadership of the NNPC to join in this rescue, I want to call on the entire media community to support this our cry so that we will be rescued alive.
“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 to go back to the work we were caught doing.
“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.
“We were caught while in the line of our service to the country, I want to call the attention of the acting president that we have seen the route we took up to this position where we are recording this video right now. I want to advise that the use of excessive force is not the solution and will not be the solution. We want to call on the federal government to meet this demand as they promised they will release us immediately. We call on Nigerians to support our cry to be rescued alive”.
It would be recalled that the Shekau faction of the terrorists group a few weeks ago also released the video of some women captured in an ambush of a convoy.
In the video, the women called on the federal government to negotiate their release.