Four years after 276 Chibok schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents, there are strong indications that about 97 of them may never return to their parents because they had died while in the custody of the terrorists.
About 107 of the school girls have so far been released through negotiations between the Nigerian government and the terrorists but 113 of them are believed to still be in the custody of Boko Haram.
However, Ahmed Salkida, a Nigerian journalist familiar with the activities of the Boko Haram group, yesterday revealed that only 15 out of the 113 Chibok schoolgirls believed to be in the custody of insurgent group were still alive.
In a series o tweets to mark the fourth-year anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok school girls, Salkida disclosed that many of the girls died from cross- fires and bombardments of the security forces, who had launched a series of covert operations to rescue them. He also revealed that the remaining 15 girls, who are alive were no longer under the control of Abubakar Shekau-faction of Boko Haram. It is believed that it was the Shekau faction that kidnapped the girls.
According to him, investigations have revealed that they were ‘married’ and only their ‘husbands’ can decide their fates.’
In one of the tweets, Sakilda mockingly accused the Nigerian government of negotiating for girls that were no longer in existence, adding that Shekau could only negotiate for the girls if their husbands were killed or they were divorced from them.
He said that the remaining girls have been indoctrinated and their leader (Shekau) had no right to negotiate for their release, no matter the ransom offered by the Federal Government.
Salkida, who declined to share the names of the 15 girls that are still alive, however, challenged government to prove his claims about the death of the Chibok girls wrong or “stop negotiating for many of the girls that don’t exists..
” Salkida also gave some insights into how the girls were abducted as well as his involvements in the futile efforts to get the them released during the President Goodluck Jonathan’s regime.
Sakilda’s tweets read: “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 cross fires 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 and we have already seen some of them in a video, which I exclusively obtained and was published on SR website.
“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. “It will be unbearable to share the names of the 15 that are alive here this is the responsibility of Government.
When I was involved, I regularly provided proof of life. Government must demand that to prove me wrong or stop negotiating for many of the girls that don’t exists.
“The secrecy around the condition of the #Chibok- Girls and most recent #DapchiGirls debacle by those involved is the reason people like me are out of the picture. The fact remains that under the present circumstances there is no room for peace settlement.
As at press time, the Bring Back Our Girls ( BBOG ) movement was yet to respond to inquiries on the authenticity of Sakilda’s revelations about the missing girls. When contacted, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu said Mr. Salkida’s information is unknown to the Nigerian government.
Garba explained that following the numerous press enquiries on the information contained in the series of tweets by Mr Ahmed Salkida, the presidency was compelled to react.