We are still negotiating Chibok girls release – Presidency


Senior special assistant to the president on media, Garba Shehu, says the Buhari-led administration is still negotiating with Boko Haram for the release of Chibok girls.

The statement follows the release of a book titled ‘Beneath the Tamarind Tree’, by Isha Sesay, a former CNN anchor, who alleged that the Nigerian government had forgotten the remaining kidnapped girls because they were from poor homes.

Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped 276 female students from the Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state on April 14, 2014.

While the federal government secured the release of some of the girls, about 112 others are still in Boko Haram captivity.

Reacting to the claims made in the book, Shehu said the allegations were false.

He said it was wrong for the author to have said the government did not know who to negotiate with since Boko Haram had split into different factions.

“This is a misrepresentation of the position of the government. When the government spoke on the issue, it was clear that although this split had the effect of making negotiation and reaching an agreement a more difficult task, this country and our international partners are still engaging through third parties with the terrorists,” he said in a statement released on Monday.

“This book asserts that the government and people of Nigeria no longer cared about the girls because ‘they are poor…they don’t have famous names; people just don’t care.’ No. Nigerians care and that is why the #BringBackOurGirls movement was able to generate the groundswell of public opinion.”

He added that it will be unfair to blame the Buhari’s government for the inefficiencies of the previous administration led by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

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