Amidst the controversies over the possible return of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, Leah Sharibu, and other kidnapped Nigerians, the Presidency on Monday, July 15, faulted a former Cable News Network (CNN) Anchor, Isha Sesay, for saying that President Muhammadu Buhari has forgotten the kidnapped girls.
Isha Sesay made this known in a newly published book, titled: ‘Beneath the Tamarind Tree’.
According to her, Nigerians and the President Muhammadu Buhari government have forgotten the kidnapped girls, because they are from poor homes.
Reacting however, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement on Monday, July 15, said that Sesay’s new book was laced with many untruths.
Shehu noted that in the introduction of the book, the Author acknowledged the release from boko haram captivity of more than 50 percent of the girls under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, but said very rightfully that, “we must not forget the 112 who are still missing”.
The President’s Spokesman, stated that it was wrong for Sesay to have said the government did not know who to negotiate with, since boko haram had split into different factions.
Garba Shehu’s statement read in part: “This is a misrepresentation of the position of the government. When the government spoke on the issue, it was clear that although this split had the effect of making negotiation and reaching an agreement a more difficult talk, this country and our international partners, are still engaging through third parties with the terrorists.”
He said that while it was true that the government had no information on where the captives were held, it was equally incorrect to say the government had given up on the Chibok girls, “when the truth is that there was nothing on the ground to give that impression”.
The statement said read: “This book asserts that the government and people of Nigeria no longer cared about the girls, because ‘they are poor…they do not have famous names; people just do not care’. No. Nigerians care, and that is why the #BringBackOurGirls movement was able to generate the groundswell of public opinion.”
He argued that the administration of former President, Goodluck Jonathan, failed to acknowledge the abduction of the girls until much later, but said that it would be unfair to ascribe some of the inefficiencies of the last government to Buhari’s own.