Boko Haram on Thursday released a video showing that it has custody of the students abducted from a government secondary school in Kankara, Katsina State, Humangle reported.
In the six-minute-and-30-second footage, tens of young boys could be seen behind him, all covered in dust and appearing to be within a forest area.
The relatively older schoolboy who spoke urged the Nigerian Government to settle amicably with their abductors and advised against the use of military force in rescuing them.
“Please, you have to dissolve any gang of vigilantes, close any kind of schools, excluding Islamiyyah [Qur’anic schools]. All the troops who have come here to help us, please send them back,” one of the abducted schoolboys pleaded in the released video.
Katsina state authorities reported approximately 320 remained missing on Tuesday, the same day the Islamist extremist group claimed responsibility for their abduction.
Katsina’s governor, Aminu Bello Masari, said 839 boys were enrolled at the school, according to U.S. broadcast network ABC News. It’s not clear how many students were at the school at the time of the raid, nor how many eluded the kidnappers.
On Monday, the state governor said the abductors “have made contacts with the government”.
“Talks are ongoing to ensure their safety and return to their respective families,” he said on Twitter, without identifying the kidnappers.
A joint rescue operation was launched on Saturday by Nigeria’s police, air force, and army, according to the government. The army said on Monday it had located the hideout of the men, and that a military operation was underway.
On Sunday, parents and family members gathered at the school, issuing a plea to authorities to bring the missing boys to safety.