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‘Shekau Is Key To Getting Girls Back’, Elbagir Says

September 26, 2016

Internationally renowned journalist Nima Elbagir described the importance of the release of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau’s latest video during a broadcast on CNN International this morning.

Mrs. Elbagir described Mr. Shekau’s latest video as a mockery of the Nigerian government and military adding that “[Boko Haram leader] Shekau is very good at taunting” the authorities. It will be recalled that the Nigerian army, on several occasions, claims to have killed Mr. Shekau.

She continued her analysis of the terrorist organization’s video saying, “coming out in spectacular fashion to show that the government is not in as much control as they think.”

The latest statements by the Nigerian army have been dismissive of Mr. Shekau saying that the video confirms that he suffers from mental illness.

According to Mrs. Elbagir’s analysis, there has been a growing rift in the Boko Haram organization with one part gravitating closer to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). However, “it is Shekau who has the [Chibok] girls.”

It will be recalled that more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno State were abducted by Boko Haram spurring international condemnation of the Nigerian government of Goodluck Jonathan, and now current President Muhammadu Buhari, for not rescuing them.

In recent weeks activists under the umbrella of #BringBackOurGirls have ramped up pressure on the Nigerian government to act more decisively in their “rescue” efforts.

With this mounting pressure on the Nigerian government to rescue the remaining Chibok schoolgirls it has given Mr. Shekau greater bargaining power with authorities. “Shekau is the keystone to getting the girls back,” according to Mrs. Elbagir in her CNN International report.

President Buhari, during his meetings at the United National General Assembly in New York last week, stated that he welcomed assistance by the UN or other stakeholders in negotiations with Boko Haram for the rescue of the Chibok girls.