Buhari doesn’t mind paying terrorists to secure Leah Sharibu’s release – Presidential aide

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The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, says only God can say when abducted Dapchi girl, Leah Sharibu, will be released by Boko Haram.

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Adesina said this on Tuesday during a live programme on Channels Television.

He said, “For how much longer? I think that question can only be answered by God but I believe God is interested in that young girl and will ensure that she is preserved and at least by the time that clip is verified, one will be sure that it is her actually and once that is determined, we should all be glad that she is alive. When will she return? By the grace of God, the government is working on it and we believe she will be back.”

The President’s spokesman said Buhari saw nothing wrong in paying terrorists ransom.

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He said if need be, he would pay ransom to secure the release of persons in captivity.

Adesina, however, faulted a report by the United Nations that some money was paid for the release of some Dapchi girls, insisting that the organisation got its facts wrong.

He added, “One thing we should always remember as Nigerians is that early in the life of the administration, the President had said on the Chibok girls before the Dapchi incident happened that whatever it took to rescue them, he would do, including paying. He is on record to have said that.

“It baffles me each time that controversy comes up. I remember the President said in 2015 that we would get these girls back even if it meant paying. So, if a President of the country has made that declaration, what then is the fuss?

“Payments are made all over the world even though countries may never admit.”

When asked how long it would take for security agencies to verify the authenticity of the audio clip released on Monday in which Sharibu was heard pleading for her rescue, Adesina said he could not say but it should not take long.

“It is within the purview of the Department of State Services to do that but it should not take long Left to the President, he wants her back today,” he added.

On whether the Presidency was keeping in touch with the family of the abducted girl, Adesina argued that it was not the responsibility of the President.

He maintained that it ought to be the job of the local government chairman or the state government under whose jurisdiction the abduction took place.

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