A Nigerian journalist, Ahmad Salkida, has claimed that only 15 of the at least 113 Chibok girls believed to still be in Boko Haram captivity are alive, Premiumtimesng.com has reported.
Mr Salkida, who is believed to have access to credible sources within the terror group, made this disclosure on Saturday on the fourth year since the girls’ abduction.
Mr Salkida wrote extensively about the abductions on Twitter, partly as follows:
“Today, my painstaking investigations on the #Chibokschoolgirls revealed that just a handful of the 113 #ChibokGirls are alive,” he said.
“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 exist.
“The secrecy around the condition of the #ChibokGirls 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.
“The way out for these girls, is a military rescue or negotiate wt individual captors to release their ‘wives’ in return for some kind of deal, but this will mean death to these fighters bcz the terror group now sees the girls as part of their own and must be protected.
“How comes there is little or no information about the girls and both the parents and campaigners are in the dark? Because, Government resist independent reporting of the crisis, most of the reports are choreographed & Nigerians are also not ready to hear the truth or stand by it,” he said.