Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Saturday said the Presidency was not aware of the claim made by a Nigerian journalist, Ahmed Salkida, that only 15 out of the remaining Chibok girls are still alive.
In a statement made available to journalists, the presidential spokesman said the information was not known to the officials of the administration either from the captors of the girls or the international intercessors who are working with the government.
He noted that 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 securing the release of the remaining girls.
Shehu said the information at the disposal of government showed that the girls are available, adding that government will not relent in securing their release.
He 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.
“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.”