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Military denies payment of ransom to Boko Haram for release of Chibok girls

The Nigerian military has refuted claims that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari paid ransom to the Boko Haram terrorists to secure the release of 21 of the abducted Chibok girls recently.

The Defence Headquarters in a statement of Saturday signed by its spokesman, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, described the report as unfortunate and unsubstantiated.

“It is important to recall here that several statements have been issued by the military high command to clarify the issue surrounding the release of the girls, which the whole world applauded. It is therefore worrisome that some sections of the media continue to undermine this modest effort of the government, security agencies and other stakeholders. It is imperative to state categorically that the sponsors of this media campaign have a hidden agenda which is best known to them,” the statement said.

The statement said the military and other security agencies will not be distracted and would remain focused in achieving its objectives in the North East.

“The important thing is that the release have been made and circumstances surrounding this effort should not be a matter of controversy so as not to overheat the polity and jeorpardising (sic) the ongoing efforts to secure the release of the remaining girls and other innocent citizens still in captivity of the terrorists,” the military said.

It noted that the insinuations that ransom was paid to the terrorists, which they used to escalate the recent attacks in the North East is completely false and represents the imagination of the author of the story.

The statement urged the public to discountenance the report in its entirety and advised the media to be cautious of such reports, which have serious implications on national security. It stated that as partners in progress, the media also has a stake in ongoing efforts to restore lasting peace in the North East and the country in general.

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