- Presidential aide, Femi Adesina, says only God can say when abducted Dapchi girl, Leah Sharibu, will be freed by Boko Haram
- Adesina said the federal government is working hard to ensure she is rescued and believes she will be back
- The presidential spokesman, however, dismissed claims that Boko Haram was paid for the release of the Dapchi girls
Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, on Tuesday, August 28, during an appearance on Channels Television‘s breakfast show Sunrise Daily said only God can say when abducted Dapchi girl, Leah Sharibu, will be released by Boko Haram.
Adesina said: “For how much longer? I think that question can only be answered by God but I believe God is interested in that young girl and will ensure that she is preserved and at least by the time that clip is verified, one will be sure that it is her actually and once that is determined, we should all be glad that she is alive. When will she return? By the grace of God, the government is working on it and we believe she will be back.”
The president’s spokesman said Buhari saw nothing wrong in paying terrorists ransom, adding that if need be, he would pay ransom to secure the release of persons in captivity.
However, Adesina faulted a report by the United Nations that some money was paid for the release of some Dapchi girls, insisting that the organisation got its facts wrong.
He added: “One thing we should always remember as Nigerians is that early in the life of the administration, the President had said on the Chibok girls before the Dapchi incident happened that whatever it took to rescue them, he would do, including paying. He is on record to have said that.
“It baffles me each time that controversy comes up. I remember the President said in 2015 that we would get these girls back even if it meant paying. So, if a President of the country has made that declaration, what then is the fuss? Payments are made all over the world even though countries may never admit.”
When asked how long it would take for security agencies to verify the authenticity of the audio clip released in which Sharibu was heard pleading for her rescue, Adesina said he could not say but it should not take long.
When asked whether the presidency was keeping in touch with the family of the abducted girl, Adesina argued that it was not the responsibility of the president. He maintained that it ought to be the job of the local government chairman or the state government under whose jurisdiction the abduction took place.
He also said it was the duty of non-governmental organisations to provide succour to the families of abducted persons but sadly many of them preferred to politicise matters and engage in protests.
“I expect the Yobe state government to be in touch with the family to grant her some succour. It is not purely a Presidency matter. In Nigeria, people expect the Presidency to do everything. The local government and state government should be in touch with the family.
“That is why you have NGOs. They should do this instead of engaging in agitations and politicising the matter. Those NGOs and agencies and organisations can also do something for the families,” he said.
The president’s spokesman, on the alleged forgery of a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate by the minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun, said the NYSC should be given ample time to conduct a proper investigation.
In a previous report by NAIJ.com, the parents of Leah Sharibu, the only Christian girl still being held captive by Boko Haram insurgents among those abducted at the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state, confirmed the voice in an audio message as their daughter’s.
Leah’s audio message was published on Monday, August 27, by online news platform The Cable with her recent picture in which she is wearing a brown hijab and sitting on a mat.
Leah was said to have worn a look of defiance as she pleaded for her release.
Exclusive: Freed Dapchi Girl Recounts Her Ordeal with Boko Haram (Nigeria Breaking News) - on NAIJ.com