The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has reacted to recent reports that Islamic terrorist sect, Boko Haram was demanding N10 billion for the release of the kidnapped Chibok girls.
Speaking with newsmen on Sunday, Mohammed expressed doubts over the reports, noting that the Nigerian government had gone through such before and cannot act unless authenticity is established.
Again, the minister stated that the federal government has not forgotten the girls and still intends to rescue them and bring the terrorist to their knees.
“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.”
Speaking on the readiness of the incumbent administration to rescue the girls, the minister stated that: “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. 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.”
“What we have today is cowardly attacks on soft targets. … And Nigeria has moved on from that and we are now concentrating very much on the rehabilitation, resettlement of those who are displaced. And I think the fact that one of the most wanted persons all over the world was captured without even firing a shot last week. … I think, is evidence so far of Nigeria’s success in dealing with terrorism.”