– Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, says a journalist, Ahmed Salkida, is not involved in the process leading to the release of some Chibok girls
– He insists the Buhari administration is not relenting in its efforts to rescue the remaining girls from Boko Haram captivity
The presidency has said that it is unaware of claims by a journalist, Ahmed Salkida, that only 15 out of the remaining Chibok girls in Boko Haram captivity are still alive.
The Punch reports that the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, on Saturday, April 14, said Salkida was not involved in the process leading to the release of over 100 girls and is also not involved in the current efforts aimed at rescuing the remaining girls still being held by the terrorists.
The presidential spokesperson said the information at the disposal of government showed that the girls are available. He insisted that the Buhari administration was not relenting in its efforts to rescue the remaining girls.
Shehu said: “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 of 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.
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“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 are also advised not to lose faith in this government’s ability to fulfil its promise that the girls will not be abandoned or forgotten.”
NAIJ.com had earlier reported that Ahmad Salkida, who previously mediated with Boko Haram elements to secure the release of the abducted Chibok girls, says only 15 of the 113 believed to be with the terrorists are alive.
He made the claim in a series of tweets posted on his handle, @ContactSalkida, on Saturday, April 14.
NAIJ.com notes that in the tweets, the journalist, who is now based in Dubai, provided a background to the controversial abduction and stated that the remaining 15 have been married off, indoctrinated and may no longer be interested in returning home.
He further advised the federal government to demand for proof of life, as it carries out negotiations to secure the release of the remaining girls still in captivity.
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