By Chesa Chesa
The Presidency has debunked the series of tweets from a foreign based Nigerian journalist, Ahmed Salkida, known for his high level access to Boko Haram commanders, claiming that 98 of the abducted Chibok girls have died in the custody of the terrorists since 2014.
Reacting to the disclosure on Saturday, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said such information had not been relayed to the government by the abductors or foreign institutions involved in the negotiations to free the girls.
Shehu recalled that about 100 of the over 200 girls kidnapped four years ago in Chibok, Borno State, had been freed without the involvement of Salkida and also not involved in the latest talks to free the girls, so wondered how he could be dishing out such information to the public.
A statement issued by Shehu on Saturday night read: “Following the numerous press enquiries on the information contained in the series of tweets by Mr Ahmed Salkida, we wish to reiterate that the information is not known to the officials of this administration either from the captors of the Chibok girls or the international intercessors who are working with us.
“We wish to confirm that Mr Salkida is not involved, on behalf of the Nigerian government in the processes leading to the release of the over 100 Chibok Girls that have returned to their families, so far , and is not involved in the current processes to secure the release of those still held in captivity.
“If there is any information he has concerning the remainder of those girls, he has, up till this moment not approached the government Nigeria with it. All press enquirers on the subject should therefore be directed to Mr. Salkida.
“The facts as known to our officials and the international contacts assisting this process are that the remaining Chibok Girls are there and we are not relenting on getting their release.
“As stated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, the government is not relenting. We will continue to persist, and the parents should please not give up. They also advised not to lose faith in this government’s ability to fulfil its promise, that the girls will not be abandoned or forgotten.”
By Chesa Chesa