- The presidency has reacted to the comment made by the Christian Association of Nigeria
- CAN had alleged that President Buhari-led government refused to pay a ransom on Chibok girls because most of them are Christians
- Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesman, described the statement as reckless
The Nigerian presidency has reacted to the statement credited to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on the Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents some years ago.
Legit.ng reports that a statement issued by Femi Adesina, a special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, on media and publicity on Wednesday, February 5, indicated that the Christian body alleged that the federal government refused to pay ransom for the release of the abducted schoolgirls because 80% to 90% of them are Christians.
Adesina said the president was constrained to react to unfounded allegations by the CAN about the payment or non-payment of ransom for the release of the Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls.
According to him, the media reports quoted CAN’s director of legal and public affairs, Kwamkur Samuel, to have said that the reason Dapchi girls’ ransom was quickly paid and they were returned is the discovery that most of the girls were Muslims except Leah Sharibu who is still in captivity.
The statement read: “Nigerians need to know, if they have not known the reason why the presidency could not pay ransom to rescue Chibok girls. It is because 80% to 90% of the girls are Christians. The reason why Dapchi girls’ ransom was quickly paid and they were returned is the discovery that most of the girls were Muslims except Leah Sharibu who is still in captivity.”
"When the media in August 2018 quoted a United Nations report alleging that the federal government paid a huge ransom for the release of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls on March 21, 2018, the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, immediately disputed the report, insisting that no ransom was paid, “little or huge.”
The presidency, however, urged CAN to desist from disinformation which can further divide Nigerians, adding that the letter and spirit of the Holy Bible do not support discord, which CAN’s allegations are liable to cause.
Adesina also noted that the Christian body need not be antagonistic to every attempt by the administration to move Nigeria forward before it can champion or defend the Christian faith.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari made it very clear in 2015 that if ransom needed to be paid to free the Chibok schoolgirls, he would pay, saying that that is a testament to his commitment to getting the girls back.
"Notwithstanding our different faiths, we are all stakeholders in the promotion of peace in our fatherland. And the Holy Bible enjoins us to, “Seek peace, and pursue it,” he added.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the chairman of the CAN in the north, Rev Yakubu Pam, tasked the federal government and security agencies to do all they can to ensure Leah Sharibu is rescued and reunited with her family immediately either with a baby or not as demanded by her parents.
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2000 days after, Chibok girls yet to return | - on Legit TV