The Federal Government has revealed that negotiations with terrorist group, Boko Haram, are hard and complicated.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed disclosed this when he was responding to questions about the government's efforts in ensuring the safe return of Leah Sharibu who was kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists from her school, Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School in Dapchi, Bursari local government area of Yobe state, on February 19, 2018.
111 other girls and another schoolboy had also been kidnapped that same night before the government decided to negotiate for their release which eventually led to the return of 107 of the 113 originally abducted.
While it was reported by the returned schoolgirls that five of them that were taken had died of heart attack and stress as a result of the long trip, and buried in the bush, Sharibu was reportedly kept in captivity by the terrorists because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.
While speaking to State House correspondents on Wednesday, May 16, Mohammed said the federal government is still negotiating for Sharibu's freedom while also asking for the whereabouts of the five that were reported dead.
He said, "I think Mr. President actually addressed that issue in Washington and my position is always the same that we are yet to resolve the issue of six girls. 111 girls were kidnapped, 105 were returned and we are busy on daily basis asking and negotiating and asking what happened to those five officially at least and then what is delaying the young girl Leah Sharibu.
"Negotiations with insurgents are quite tortuous and complicated atimes but I can assure you we are not leaving her to her fate and those who should are daily busy working on her release.
"Anybody who negotiates with insurgents and terrorists in the world will know that is not a direct face to face negotiation like we are doing"
Despite the federal government's promises on bringing Leah Sharibu back home, it has employed a culture of silence over the fate of the five that were reported dead.
However, while meeting with United States president, Donald Trump, in April, Buhari told his American counterpart that four of the girls were dead and provided an incorrect number of those originally abducted.
Buhari said, "...but the Dapchi one, 106 that were kidnapped, we got 100 back, four died, and one is still held in captivity."
Leah Sharibu turned 15 on Monday, May 14, 2018, nearly three months after she was kidnapped.