The Presidency has dismissed insinuations that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been paying ransom for the release of Muslim hostages abducted by Boko Haram terrorists.
The assertion was made by the spokesman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kwamkur Samuel.
Mr Samuel is reported to have claimed Mr Buhari, in separate occasions, has been paying ransom to free Muslim hostages held captive by the terror group and has looked the other way in cases involving Christians victims.
“Nigerians need to know, if they have not known the reason why the Presidency could not pay ransom to rescue Chibok girls. It is because 80% to 90% of the girls are Christians. The reason why Dapchi girls’ ransom was quickly paid and they were returned is the discovery that most of the girls were Muslims except Leah Sharibu who is still in captivity.” Mr said while citing examples to buttress his claim.
But presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, has said there exist no truth in the claim of CAN. Adesina advised the umbrella Christian body to stop misinforming Nigerians as this could further divide Nigerians religiously.
“When the media in August 2018 quoted a United Nations Report alleging that the Federal Government paid a ‘huge ransom’ for the release of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls on March 21, 2018, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, immediately disputed the report, insisting that no ransom was paid, ‘little or huge.’ According to the Minister, ‘There must be a conclusive evidence to support such a claim. Without that, the claim remains what it is – a mere conjecture,” Adesina said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We urge CAN to desist from disinformation which can further divide Nigerians. The letter and spirit of the Holy Bible do not support discord, which CAN’s allegations are liable to cause.
“The Christian body need not be antagonistic to every attempt by the administration to move Nigeria forward, before it can champion or defend the Christian faith.
“President Muhammadu Buhari made it very clear in 2015 that if ransom needed to be paid to free the Chibok schoolgirls, he would pay. That is a testament to his commitment to get the girls back.
“Notwithstanding our different faiths, we are all stakeholders in the promotion of peace in our fatherland. And the Holy Bible enjoins us to, “Seek peace, and pursue it”, the statement partly read.