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Presidency reacts to Salkida’s claim on Chibok girls’ deaths



The Nigerian presidency has said that the information contained in tweets by a journalist, Ahmed Salkida, about Chibok girls is not known to the officials of the administration.

Mr Salkida is believed to have access to Boko Haram, the terror group that kidnapped about 217 girls from their school in GSS Chibok in 2014.

While many of the girls were released through negotiations, a few escaped from captivity.

About 113 of them are still believed to be with Boko Haram.

Mr. Salkida, in a series of tweets Saturday, which marked the fourth anniversary of the abduction of the girls said only 15 were still alive.

He said sources within the group told him the others died mostly during military operations by government forces.

The government, responding to press inquiries, said the information provided by Mr Salkida was not known to it.

The government also said no such information was provided either by the captors of the Chibok girls or the international intercessors who are working with it.

Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu in an email said Mr Salkida was also 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.

Mr Shehu said the journalist was equally 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 enquiriers on the subject should therefore be directed to Mr. Salkida,” Mr Shehu said.

He also said the facts as known to officials and the international contacts assisting in the quest to free the remaining Chibok Girls were continuing, adding “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,” Mr Shehu said.

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