Chibok Girls: Salkida's claims not unknown to FG - Presidency

Parents in Nigeria are wondering whether the government can keep their schoolgirls safe

Bakare's comments come four years after the reported abduction of over 200 students of Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State abducted by Boko Haram on April 19, 2014.

4 of 5 processes he was involved in to see to the rescue of the girls, he said, a swap deal was nearly done, but the government always failed to move forward.

Parents of the missing Chibok schoolgirls on Saturday marked the fourth anniversary of their daughters' kidnapping by Boko Haram, renewing calls for their release and thousands of others seized in the bloody conflict in northeast Nigeria.

"However, this government is not relenting".

The presidential spokesman noted that Salkida was not involved in the process that led 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.

A journalist, Ahmad Salkida, known to have access to the Boko Haram sect, has said only 15 of the 113 Chibok schoolgirls in captivity are alive.

In October 2016, Nigerian officials announce the release of 21 of the girls following talks between the government and Boko Haram, brokered by Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross. All press enquirers on the subject should therefore be directed to Mr. Salkida. We will continue to persist, and the parents should please not give up.

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The Co-ordinator, Bring Back our Girls (BBOG) Lagos State Chapter, Mrs Aisha Oyebode, wants Nigerians to stand up in prayers for those children still in the captivity of terrorists. "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".

But the Defence Headquarters on Sunday faulted Salkida's claim that only 15 of the Chibok schoolgirls were alive.

Speaking in the Hausa language, she said, "We are the Chibok girls..."

Buhari however admitted that they may be some delay in securing their release following setbacks in talks with the terrorists. Hence, government at all levels must prioritise safe cities, provision of security and safe spaces in our schools in order to encourage girls' enrolment and retention as well as protect them from all forms of violence.

Buhari further said in the statement, "We are concerned and aware that it is taking long to bring the rest of our daughters back home, but be assured that this administration is doing its very best to free the girls from their captors".

Agim's remarks were based on enquiries by TheCable.

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