The government denied that it paid a ransom for the girls' release and said it had freed some detained Boko Haram militants in exchange for the girls. He attributed the successes recorded so far to the resilience of the laity and called on them to continue to work towards the development of the catholic faith in the diocese. The authorities have previously claimed to have killed Shekau on at least three occasions.
"On the previous day, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had successfully provided air cover to troops of 27 Task Force Battalion thereby enabling them to repel an attack by the Boko Haram Terrorists".
"The NAF conducted the air interdiction with two Alpha Jets and one F-7Ni aircraft".
The statement adds that during the period reported, Boko Haram attacks on communities and with security forces resulted in the killing of 3,900 children killed leaving more than 7,300 others maimed.
Children were used mainly for intelligence-related purposes, in search operations, night patrols, for crowd control and to guard posts.
Shekau claimed the latest video, 14 minutes long, was shot on Thursday, May 4, barely 12 hours after military sources said he had been wounded.
He stated, "It is true that the strike killed some Boko Haram leaders".
It is believed that once the girls are secured in a new location they would be debriefed, undergo a psycological and medical test and then be reunited with their families. Investigators gathered testimony indicating that the group kidnapped numerous children it counts among its ranks but that others join voluntarily for economic gain or over pressure applied on their families by the group.
Millions of people have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency since 2009, while about 100,000 have been killed.
The insurgency has decimated northeast Borno state with the violence displacing 2.6 million from their homes and causing a hunger crisis.