Mr. Ahmad Salkida, a journalist known to have access to the Boko Haram sect, has revealed that 98 of the 113 Chibok schoolgirls in Boko Haram captivity have died
Salkida disclosed this on his Twitter handle on Saturday, saying that most of them were caught in crossfire as a result of the battle between the sect and security forces.
He said that only 15 girls are still alive but no longer under the control of the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, as they had been married off and that their fate could only be determined by their husbands.
According to him, no amount of negotiation, including ransom, could secure their release, except they were divorced from their husbands.
Salkida tweeted, “Today, my painstaking investigations on the #Chibokschoolgirls revealed that just a handful of the 113 #ChibokGirls are alive.
“Many of the girls have died as a result of crossfires 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
“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.
“The way out for these girls, is a military rescue or negotiate with individual captors to release their ‘wives’ in return for some kind of deal, but this will mean death to these fighters because the terror group now sees the girls as part of their own and must be protected.”
However the Defence Headquarters on Sunday dismissed Salkida’s claim that only 15 of the Chibok schoolgirls are alive.
The Defence spokesman, John Agim, told the press that the claim was meant to discourage the military from searching foir the remaining girls.
He said, “Who are the people making the claim. I don’t think anyone should take them seriously; they are not credible.”
Also the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, reacting to Salkida’s tweet, on Saturday said the Presidency was not aware of his claim.
In a statement made available to journalists, Mr. Shehu said the information was not known to the officials of the administration either from the captors of the girls or the international intercessors who are working with the government.
He said, “We wish to confirm that Mr. Salkida is not involved, on behalf of the Nigerian government, in the processes leading to the release of the over 100 Chibok girls that have returned to their families, so far and he is also not involved in the current processes to secure the release of those still held in captivity.
“If there is any information he has concerning the remaining girls, he has, up till this moment, not approached the government of Nigeria with it. All press enquirers on the subject should therefore be directed to Mr. Salkida.”
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement commemorating the 4th anniversary of the abduction at Chibok Girls Secondary School, in Borno State, on 14 April 2014, admitted that talks with Boko Haram to free the girls have run into some hitches, because of the divisions in the terrorists ranks.
“Unfortunately, the negotiations between the government and Boko Haram suffered some unexpected setbacks, owing mainly to a lack of agreement among their abductors, whose internal differences have led to a divergence of voices regarding the outcome of the talks”, Buhari said in a statement issued by Malam Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant on the media.