Mr. Ahmad Salkida, a Nigerian journalist, on Saturday alleged that only 15 out of the 113 Chibok girls believed to be in Boko Haram captivity are still alive.
Salkida is well known for his investigative journalism into the terror group, which has for the past years killed thousands of Nigerians, especially in the North-East region.
According to the journalist in his revelation, it took him 3 months of investigation to discover the current status of the girls.
His Boko Haram sources revealed to him that many of the girls had been killed as a result of cross fires and bombardments by the Nigerian Security Forces.
He also added that the remaining 15 girls were not under the control of the leader of the terror group, Abubakar Shekau, because they are now married to their Boko Haram husbands and consequently are under their husband’s control.
These means that to negotiate the release of these girls, the federal government must speak individually to their husbands who now see their wives as part of their own which must be protected even at the expense of their live.
“Today, my painstaking investigations on the #Chibokschoolgirls revealed that just a handful of the 113 #ChibokGirls are alive,” he said in his post on twitter.
“Many of the girls have died as a result of cross fires and bombardments of the security forces that no doubt were intent on rescuing them.
“I regret to state here that only 15 out of the 113 #Chibokgirls are alive today, based on my investigations in the last three months and we have already seen some of them in a video, which I exclusively obtained and was published on SR website.
“What is the status of the remaining 15 girls as far as negotiations are concerned? My investigations also revealed that, they are no longer under the control of #AbubakarShekau. According to sources, they are now ‘married’ and only their ‘husbands’ can decide their fates.
“If they are divorced or the men are killed that is when Shekau’s decision takes precedence, and in this instance, since the girls have been indoctrinated, their leader has no right to negotiate for their release, no matter the ransom offered, reliable multiple sources said.
“It will be unbearable to share the names of the 15 that are alive here, this is the responsibility of Government. When I was involved, I regularly provided proof of life. Government must demand that to prove me wrong or stop negotiating for many of the girls that don’t exists.
“The secrecy around the condition of the #ChibokGirls and most recent #DapchiGirls debacle by those involved is the reason people like me are out of the picture. The fact remains that under the present circumstances there is NO room for peace settlement.
“The way out for these girls, is a military rescue or negotiate wt individual captors to release their ‘wives’ in return for some kind of deal, but this will mean death to these fighters bcz the terror group now sees the girls as part of their own and must be protected.
“How comes there is little or no information about the girls and both the parents and campaigners are in the dark? Because, Government resist independent reporting of the crisis, most of the reports are choreographed & Nigerians are also not ready to hear the truth or stand by it,” he said.
The Nigerian Government in its reaction however noted that Salkida’s revelations were not known to the officials of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
According to Mr. Garba Shehu, President Buhari’s spokesman, the recent information was not provided either by the Boko Haram nor the international intercessors who are working for the release of these girls.
Mr. Shehu also noted that the journalist was not involved in the process that led to the release of the over 100 of the Chibokgirls that have returned to their various families, adding that Salkida is equally not involved in the current negotiation to secure the release of those 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 (as seen on Premium Times).
“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 fulfill its promise, that the girls will not be abandoned or forgotten,” Shehu added.