As the Nigerian government extended to neighbouring countries, the search for the 110 schoolgirls abducted last week in Dapchi, Yobe State, a human rights activist, Mrs Aisha Wakil, claimed a Boko Haram faction had contacted her to confirm it had the girls.
Aisha Wakil, who is also known as Mama Boko Haram, was a member of the Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges Committee in the northern region, set up during the President Goodluck Jonathan era.
In an interview with The News Agency of Nigeria, the activist said the Barnawi faction of Boko Haram contacted her on Thursday.
She added that the abductors confirmed to her that the girls were safe, healthy and in good condition.
In an interview with PRNigeria earlier this week, Wakil had called on the abductors to release the girls to enable them to be reunited with their families.
Wakil, who is said to have communication links with Boko Haram and respected by some leaders of the sect, declared that she was ready to sacrifice her life to rescue the girls.
Wakil said: They are even the ones that called me, and said Mama we heard what you have said and told me that they are with the girls and they are going to release them.
“I begged of them and said please let this not be another 1,000-plus days of Chibok girls, and they laughed and said no. I asked them where I can come and stay with them (girls) for two days, but they did not say anything.
“I can assure Nigerians that so far they are with my son Habib and his friends; Habib is a nice guy, he is very nice boy. He will not harm them, he will not touch them, and he will not kill them.
“He is going to listen to us, and so far he indicated interest that he loves peace. And I love them for that and believe what they said on this.
“They will definitely give us the girls. All I am begging Nigerians is to calm down, be prayerful, everything will be over in God grace”.
The activist had at various times participated and played key role in negotiations between the military authorities and Boko Haram insurgents’ commanders, which facilitated released of numerous abductees from terrorists’ captivity.
In a statement today, the Federal Government announced it has stepped up the search for the 110 girls to the neighbouring countries.