Presidency denies reports of $50m ransom demand for kidnapped Chibok girls

lai-mohammed

Lai Mohammed

Minister of information and Culture, Lai Mohammed during an interview with the Voice of America (VoA), denied reports that the deadly Boko Haram terrorist group is demanding $50 million from the President Buhari-led federal government as ransom before releasing abducted Chibok schoolgirls.

“It appears we have several versions of this report. The one that we heard was from a source that (Boko Haram) wants to release 10 of these girls for 1 million euros. But the most important thing is that we’ve gone through this route before, and until and when we establish the credibility of this source and the truth behind it, the government will not be in a hurry to make a statement. However, government is using its own channels to authenticate the credibility of this source,” he said.

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The Information minister described as ‘unfair’ the accusations that the Buhari administration is not doing enough to secure the release of the abducted girls.

“No day passes without the issue of the kidnapped girls not being at the front burner. But these are highly security and intelligence issues, which cannot always be discussed openly. But I can assure you that for this government, the return of these girls is what is going to bring the final closure on the Boko Haram terrorism and we are working very hard, daily on it.”

“Those who say that are being very unfair to us,” Mohammed said. “We inherited a very bad situation where the trail had gone cold, despite that every day we send out reports, we receive [information] some of them are phony some of them are just there to excoriate government. But the truth of the matter is that it’s not a matter that the government is taking lightly. Those who want a daily report on what we are doing, of course in security that does not happen. But we have channels of information in which we make available on a need to know basis,” he added.

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