The presidency has maintained that it is not aware of the precise location where the Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists are.
Speaking on Arise Television, Thursday night, Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, said “Nobody precisely knows where these girls are being held. Are they beneath the surface? Are they on Nigeria’s territorial space? The campaign to free these girls and all others that are being held enjoys enormous support. But don’t forget that there are aerial and drone flights at nights and day. So, the entire Sambisa Forest which everyone had suspected that the girls were being held had been subject to surveillance. So, nobody knows exactly where they are. If we knew, we have the capacity to go and get them.”
According to Shehu, there is an ongoing two-track negotiation approach aimed at rescuing the kidnapped girls.
The president’s spokesman pointed out that the military approach was ongoing, adding that a lot of success had been achieved in that regard.
“But using interlocutors and with the support of a lot of countries, there is an ongoing discussion between the Nigerian government and factions of Boko Haram with a view of securing freedom for the Chibok girls. From what we are picking from the intercessors, the factions of Boko Haram is not really a challenge. They are two groups by their antecedents,” he added.
He stated that the faction of Boko Haram that freed the 21 Chibok girls in October last year wanted to prove a point, adding that the released girls were supposed to support “the proof of life”.
He further revealed that the girls were freed by the Abubakar Shekau faction.
According to him, what they Boko Haram faction did was “to prove that they have the girls, take these ones, let them go and tell the story and that is where we are today”.
Responding to a question on whether Shekau is dead, Shehu said: “Well, our military authorities have said so and there is nothing to argue about.”
The former newspaper editor said the “beauty of what is going on now is that we have a multinational joint task force that has brought together Chad, Cameroun, Nigeria, including Benin. All of these countries are involved in the search. With international support, there is also intelligence and all of them share information. So, the best intelligence is available, but sadly nobody can pinpoint where these girls are.”