Ahmad Salkida, journalist known for having access to the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents, insists that 98 of 113 Chibok schoolgirls in captivity have died.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, Salkida said many of the girls died as a result of crossfires from security forces that were supposed to rescue 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.” Salkida had said, asking that, “what is the status of the remaining 15 girls as far as negotiations are concerned?”
He also said his investigations revealed that the remaining girls were no longer under the control of Abubakar Shekau, a factional leader of the sect. “According to sources, they are now ‘married’ and only their ‘husbands’ can decide their fates,” Salkida explained.
The federal government, however, dismissed Salkida’s claims.
Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, had said the facts available to the government indicated that all the remaining girls in Boko Haram captivity were alive.
The defence headquarters had also dismissed Salkida’s claims, calling it an attempt to discourage the government.
Reacting, Salkida, in a tweet on Sunday, challenged the government to provide video evidence that the schoolgirls are still alive.
“What I don’t get is, did Govt provide life saving drugs, bulletproof vests and bunkers for the #Chibokgirls in captivity amidst harsh conditions, daily crossfires and bombardments? I threw a challenge, Govt or the insurgents can only refute me with a proof of life video,” he wrote.