NNPC Ambush: In new Boko Haram video, three abducted UNIMAID staff beg for their release

UNIMAID staff abducted by Boko Haram
UNIMAID staff abducted by Boko Haram

Three of the four missing staff of the University of Maiduguri, Unimaid, who were abducted after Boko Haram ambushed them and killed five of their colleagues have appeared in a video released by the insurgents.

In the video, they were shown calling on the government of Nigeria to negotiate their release.

The geologists and their aides were attacked while carry out an oil exploration research that was subcontracted to the university by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

The 4 minutes 30 second grainy footage featured the three staff of Unimaid sitting in a room in which the walls were covered with purple clothing designed with roses.

The three abductees took turn to personally introduce themselves as Yusuf Ibrahim, a lecturer, Geology department, University of Maiduguri; Haruna…a driver from the University of Maiduguri; and Dr. Solomon a lecturer from the University of Maiduguri.

Mr. Solomon who sat in the middle spoke briefly in Hausa before switching to English.

He confirmed that they were abducted on July 25 by Boko Haram fighters whom he carefully referred to as “soldiers of Khalifa Albarnawi”, when they were carrying out geological survey services for the NNPC on behalf of the University of Maiduguri.

Mr. Albarnawi is the leader of a faction of Boko Haram, which broke out from the faction headed by Abub‎akar Shekau.

Mr. Solomon said the Nigeria government and all other relevant authorities linked with the service they were providing before they were abducted should comply with the demands of their abductors and ensure they are released alive.

He did not mention any specific condition; but warned that the use of excessive force to rescue them should not be an option the government of Nigeria should consider.

His message reads in full:-

“We are recording this video on the 28 of July 2017. I want to reemphasise 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, Iwant 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”.

The video was released in the same way the Shekau faction did when they also released the video of abducted women that were captured after the ambush of a convoy of travellers along Maiduguri-Biu road on June 21.

Mr. Shekau released a video of the abducted women on July 17 where they were shown crying and calling on the federal government to negotiate their rescue.

It is not certain if the government has commenced any negotiations to rescue the women.

The Nigeria Army had earlier claimed it had rescued all the NNPC geologists after a rescue mission, a claim later faulted by the lecturers union, ASUU, and the university’s vice chancellor; as well as the new video.


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  • Outrage

    Another lie busted. All were said to have been rescued.

  • Ndidi

    Why are these Geologists prospecting for oil, now that the thinking world is rejecting fossil fuels, and has entered the Renewable Energy Era? They have risked their lives for NOTHING!
    NNPC should know better than this. This is what happens when NNPC is headed by a man who isn’t worthy of the post. Not only are vehicles going to be electric (cars and motorbikes) or solar (cars) or Biogas (trucks) or Farnesane (planes), but nations are preferring to depend on their own Shale Oil or Combustible Ice (solid gas), so NEVER again will crude oil command high prices! Any oil producing country that is STILL prospecting for a commodity that is not wanted, that has a low asking price, and whose effects contribute to global warming is just not serious. NE has a lot of land and sun, they should be creating Solar Farms to produce solar electricity for all NE and other parts of Nigeria.

    • Rollingdollar

      I’ve told you that your views are always jaundiced. You like to dance around issues while passing yourself off as being intelligent. Now you blame NNPC! But you swallowed your tongue when your illiterate ‘god’ Muhammad Buhari directed NNPC to start oil exploration in the North East! How do you expect this country to develop when people like you, will ALWAYS shy away from telling the truth as it is. It’s better you keep quiet than trying to assault our intelligence. Thank you

    • Joshua Kwame

      The North had wanted to proof to the South that they also have Oil

    • Frank Bassey

      But the North needs the derivation money before we go electric and solar. Going non-oil is not a day’s journey. What happens between now and then? Buhari knows the oil is not there in the North, but he insisted on the search because oil money from the South-South is there to spend.

  • Rabbi Netayahu

    Shekau abducted women, while Albarnawi abducted men. Both factions of Boko Haram are compelling their victims to ask Nigeria and its institutions or corporation to negotiate and accept the terms for their release. This Boko Haram is now big business for Shekau and his friend Albarnawi. If I were Nigeria,I would look away. But since I am not Nigeria, I don’t know what Nigeria will do to halt the Boko Haram business-kidnap for ransom.

  • Joshua Kwame

    Divine help in Jesus name.

  • Iyanda

    This is a big shame .I guess it’s time for another big shake up in the top echelon of our military.

  • Frank Bassey

    Someone will soon tell us the video is fake.

  • Roland Menegbo

    There is a lots conspiracy in this game ,how can the Northern Caliphate Nigeria Army dislodge the Caliphate Boko Haram. This Boko haram is sponsored by the Northern Caliphate and it will never end until a Republic is declared for them. Please allowed the north to have their Republic of Boko haram and the South Biafra Jewish Republic.