Abuja - The government on Monday rejected conditions set out by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls held hostage by the Islamists.
Asked if the government
would reject the suggestion by Shekau in a new video that the girls may
be released once Nigeria frees all militant prisoners, Interior
Minister Abba Moro told AFP: "Of course."
"The issue in question is not about Boko Haram... giving conditions," he said.
made the claim in a video obtained by AFP on Monday claiming to show
about 130 of the 276 girls abducted from their school in the remote
northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, on April 14.
"We will never release them (the girls) until after you release our brethren," he said.
militant leader, who has made prisoner exchange demands before, said
that some of the teenagers had converted from Christianity to Islam.
International Crisis Group said in a report published last month that
Boko Haram had written an open letter in 2011 to the governor of
northern Kano state, demanding the release of detainees.
repeated the demand in a video released last week claiming
responsibility for the mass kidnapping that has sparked global
condemnation and calls for action.
Nigeria's military has been
accused of rounding up thousands of Boko Haram suspects, including women
and children, and holding them in atrocious conditions that have been
criticised by rights groups.
On March 14, Boko Haram fighters
stormed the notorious Giwa military barracks in the state capital of
Borno, Maiduguri, freeing hundreds of militants.
International, however, said on March 31 that there was "credible
evidence" that more than 600 people, most of them unarmed recaptured
detainees, were summarily killed in the military response.