The Presidency has come out to deny the reports flying around that the Federal Government paid the amount of $21million to Boko Haram leadership for the release of 21 Chibok girls in October.
This is contained in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, where he faulted some reports that the ransom cash was being used by Boko Haram insurgents to buy arms to launch fresh attacks on the country.
“Over the past few days, some newspaper reports ascribing the recent terrorist attacks in Borno State to the government’s negotiation of the release of 21 Chibok girls, with a particular report alleging the exchange of US$21 million for the girls are false and should be disregarded by members of the public. This loose talk is journalism at its most irresponsible and it’s most dismaying, the statement reads.
“As a responsible government that is run on the basis of the constitution and budgets duly appropriated by the National Assembly, we have no such money under any allocation to pay out this outrageous sum of money as ransom.
“Beyond the call of journalism, the newspaper making this charge has a national duty to point how and where this money was paid, and to supply leads as to where the “powerful weapons” were bought by the terrorists.”
“From the inception of President Buhari’s administration, the media, local and international groups, have persistently pressured the government to do everything possible to facilitate the release of the Chibok girls,” it added.
The 21 released girls were among the over 200 kidnapped by the Boko Haram in April 2014. The others are still being held captive by the terrorists