The United States must have seen something that Nigerians are not seeing yet.

Few days after USA suspended its consular services in Abuja, a report was released and the United Nations made some striking statement about the abduction of Dapchi schoolgirls and their triumphant-entry-like return. 

They were, on that fateful day, brought back to their village freely by members of a faction of Boko Haram terrorists group without any military confrontation 

Leah Salibu, one of the girls allegedly held behind by the terrorist group for religious reasons, is still in Boko Haram custody, and the United Nations said in a report recently that a “large ransom” was paid to secure the release of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls. 

"Publish It"

While the circumstances surrounding their return remained a misery for Nigerians, the spokesman for the Nigerian government, has rejected the report. 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has got to speak again on the ransom issue like he did in February days after the girls were brought back.

Again, he denied the claim in a statement and challenged anyone with evidence of such payment to publish it.

”It is not enough to say that Nigeria paid a ransom, little or huge.

"There must be a conclusive evidence to support such claim.

"Without that, the claim remains what it is: a mere conjecture,” a statement by the minister's spokesman, Segun Adeyemi, quoted him as saying.

Also Read: See Who UN Says IS Sponsoring Boko Haram

The United Nations report that has been submitted to the Security Council detailed how Boko Haram was funded.

It also indicated that the payment of ransom and the predominance of cash economy aided the terrorists.

The report was dated July 27, 2018, and called ’22nd Report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team’.

It contained information about the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – ISIL – (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities.

On Nigeria's northeast insurgency, it claimed that, “In Nigeria, 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi were kidnapped on 18 February 2018 and released by ISWAP on 21 March 2018 in exchange for a large ransom payment".

The UN monitoring team did not state whether it had evidence for the payment or anything to back claims. 

The Nigerian Government has, however, rejected the report.

On March 21, when the girls were released, the minister had issued a statement explaining that their release was unconditional.

“This is a fact, irrespective of how a section of the press has tried to spin the story.

“The insurgents brought the girls back to the location of the kidnapping themselves as an apparent gesture of goodwill.

“This follows relentless efforts by the Government to find long-lasting solutions to the conflict,” he said.

Mr Mohammed had described their release as an aftermath of “back-channel talks with our international friends as mediators”. Apparently the United States was not part of that negotiation. 

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