The Presidency has faulted some claims in a new book titled “Beneath The Tamarind Tree”, written about the kidnapping of 270 Chibok schoolgirls by former CNN journalist Isha Sesay.
President Muhammadu Buhari‘s media aide Malam Garba Shehu on Monday noted that the book was hampered by misrepresentations.
The media aide said that the book should serve the purpose of spotlighting the crimes against humanity by Boko Haram terrorists.
He said, “She acknowledged the release from Boko Haram captivity of more than 50 per cent of the girls under the Buhari administration but says, very rightfully, that we must not forget the 112 who are still missing. On this, we share a common position.
”In stitching together her compelling portrait of this unfortunate yet paradoxical incident, Isha, this terrific journalist, risks a negative judgment of history on a book that is a farrago of misrepresentation.”
The presidential aide, however, observed that it was wrong of the author to say of the Buhari administration that “they don’t know who to negotiate with” because Boko Haram had split into factions.
According to him, this is a misrepresentation of the position of the Nigerian government on split in the leadership of the terrorist group into two contending factions.
He said it was clear that the split had the effect of making negotiation and reaching an agreement a more difficult task.
Shehu also dismissed as incorrect that the government had given up on the Chibok girls, saying there was nothing on the ground to give that impression.
He revealed that already the Ministry of Women and Social Development, has a fully staffed government unit dealing with the Chibok abductions and its fallout.
”No. Nigerians care, and that is why the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement was able to generate “the groundswell of public opinion “as acknowledged by the author,” Shehu said in a statement.
”Yes it is true that “the only reason“ the sitting government at that time ‘acknowledged fully what had happened’ was due to the public outcry but it is again unfair to lump criticism on the Nigerian Government without differentiating which of the two administrations that served Nigeria from 2014 to date.
”The Buhari administration came in 2015 with a promise to recover the stolen girls and a milestone has indeed been achieved by bringing back and caring for more than 50 per cent of them, even though the job cannot be said to be complete.”