Leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau on Monday released a new video in which he showed the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, even as he said none of them would be freed until the Nigerian government freed all his members in detention facilities across the country.
In the video, the girls were seen dressed in Islamic attire, covering their entire bodies and reciting verses of the Holy Qur'an which they obviously memorised only recently.
The girls, who appeared calm and relaxed in the video, were also made to express their new faith in Hausa language, stressing their new belief in Islam.
Some of the girls were made to come forward to the camera to introduce themselves by their newly acquired Islamic names.
The girls, who were seated in a bush environment under some short shrubs and trees, were heard singing Islamic choruses, while two of them were spotted holding an black banner made of cloth with an Arabic inscription boldly written on .
Before the footage of the girls came up, the Boko Haram leader was introduced at the beginning of the video delivering his message in Arabic, which was later translated in Hausa.
He appeared in his usual military attire with a turban on his head , an AK 47 rile lies across his chest , while he held a thick chewing stick in his right hand as he gesticulated and threatened from time to time.
His countenance was sarcastic and scornful of the Nigerian government.
His translated speech reads; "We have the girls in our custody and as you can see from the video, they have all accepted to become Muslims, in just a matter of few days, they have learnt to recite the first chapter of the holy Qur'an fluently. We did not force them, but we have explained Islam to them clearly and they have all accepted it; and even some of them are now calling on their parents to join them in Islam, that they have been groping in the dark all these years.
"You are all out there worrying about these girls, but they are here now converted willingly into Islam. They are happy , because we treated them very well in the manner women are supposed to be treated, with dignity and humane. If you like you can go on again and insinuate, as usual, that we have given them some concoction to drink; yes go on and say Shekau has given them some portion to change their minds. But you should all know that we don't drink anything here, we don't drink alcohol. We are Muslims and our concoction is the names of Allah and his prophet.
"These girls have become our own property as it is the injunction in the Qur'an. We decide what to do with them, yes I repeat, they are now our slaves and acquired property; whatever we wish, we will do with them. As I have said earlier we can even sell them if we wish.
"But the fact remains that these girls remain with us until the Nigerian government releases our brothers and sisters being held in various detention facilities across the country. Just because of these few girls that we have taken the world is shouting hues. But you should know that we have also abducted and taken boys that had tripled these number in the past. Why is the world not talking?
"Let Obama, Banki Moon , Goodluck Jonathan, know that there is nothing you can do to us, because this is the war of God and not human; this is not capitalism, this not socialism, this is not democracy; this is not United Nations charter; this is the religion of God, this is Jihad.
"These girls will go nowhere, until our brethren in Maiduguri, Abuja, Enugu and Lagos are all released from captivity. So it hurts this much, yet you kept our brethren in detention for over five years; our women have been kept in cells without marriage for all these years; some of our members, about 20 of them were given poison to drink and they died silently in the cells. No one is talking about them.
"Let the world know that we are ready for whatever troops that are being deployed to fight us; we don't fear American troops. Let even King Pharaoh himself be sent down here, we will deal with him squarely," Shekau said.
Meanwhile, Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, has, in reaction to the video, requested that the footage be taken to Chibok for the parents and relatives of the girls to identify and verify the faces of the girls.
The governor said, in a statement issued by his media adviser, Isa Gusau, that he was happy the girls did not appear hurt or harmed by their captors, even as he called on all to intensify prayers that would lead to their successful rescue.
The statement reads; "Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima has watched with very keen interest a video clip shown on the BBC world service, said to have been released by members of the Boko Haram sect.
"Governor Shettima has directed transfer of the video into mobile storage devices under the care of some officials, including the chairman of Chibok local government area, who have been given an immediate task of showing the videos to parents, some of the freed students who know their abducted colleagues, teachers and management staff of Government Secondary School, Chibok, so that the girls in the video can be identified to ascertain if they are part of the abducted students or otherwise. He is, however, optimistic about the video.
"Already, some concerned individuals in Maiduguri and Abuja are, on the request of the Governor, making efforts to contact parents and relations of some of the abducted girls, who might be within reach to get feedback regarding the video.
"Governor Shettima views the development as encouraging, especially given the fact that some of the girls said they were not harmed. The governor hopes that the girls did not speak under duress.
"While awaiting the confirmation, Governor Shettima calls on citizens of Borno State, most of whom commenced another round of fasting today, to seek divine help, to intensify prayers for the safe release of the schoolgirls who are very precious not only to Borno, but to the entire world.
"Shettima expresses appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan for their concerns and concerted efforts towards the release of the schoolgirls. The governor also expresses appreciation to other Nigerians, world leaders and citizens around the world, whose pressures have been of tremendous help so far. The governor particularly thanks all security agencies and volunteers engaged in search and rescue efforts."