“They’re Trying To Discourage Us” — Nigerian Army Reacts To Report That 98 Chibok Schoolgirls Are Dead
John Agim, the defence spokesman, says the report that only 15 of the 113 missing Chibok schoolgirls are alive is meant to discourage the government.
Ahmad Salkida, a journalist known to have access to the leadership of Boko Haram sect, had said the majority of the girls had died in captivity.
Salkida said those still alive had been married off. He challenged the government to speak the truth.
“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,” Salkida wrote on Twitter.
Salkida, who said he had spent 13 years of his career researching and reporting the insurgency, added that his ” knowledge of this crisis can’t be dismissed.”
But responding to inquiries by TheCable, Agim said it is not the first time that the girls were said to have been killed or married off.
He added that after such claims, the government went ahead to secure the release of some of them.
“They are only trying to discourage the government,” Agim said.
“In our operations, we have rescued hundreds of people in Boko Haram captivity, and when we profile them, most are not Chibok girls. But, look at when they first said the girls had been married off, we were able to secure the release of some of the girls.
“Every time, they are always saying the girls have been killed, we continue to secure their release just like we did recently.”
When TheCable contacted Garba Shehu, the presidential spokesman, to react to the development, he said “I don’t have that information.”
Efforts to also get the reaction of Texas Chukwu, spokesman of the army, proved futile as he did not respond to calls or text messages.