Nigerian presidency says a recent book about the Chibok schoolgirls is a “farrago of misrepresentation”, that “risks a negative judgment of history”.
Beneath the Tamarind Tree, by former CNN journalist Isha Sesay, is a book about the 2014 abduction of Nigeria’s Chibok schoolgirls and their years in captivity.
The kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls by militant group Boko Haram made global headlines and though some have been rescued, the Nigerian government says 110 still remain in captivity.
Presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu who put out a series of tweets
, said it was wrong to say that the “government and people of Nigeria no longer cared about the girls because ‘they are poor…they don’t have famous names'”.
He also said it was incorrect to say that the current government did not “know who to negotiate with because Boko Haram had split into factions”.
This book asserts that the government and people of Nigeria no longer cared about the girls because “they are poor…they don’t have famous names; people just don’t care.”
Ms Sesay has not addressed the criticisms directly, but in a tweet she said that she hoped that the government would talk about the Chibok girls at other times as well:
I warmly welcome this declaration by the Nigerian govt of its determination to secure release of the 112 Chibok girls. Obviously I would rather the govt more readily and consistently engaged with the grieving families at times when there isn’t a book out on the subject. #Nigeria https://twitter.com/rootstvnigeria/status/1150843297402884097 …
WE’RE DETERMINED TO RELEASE CHIBOK GIRLS, SHARIBU
…it is equally incorrect to say Government had given up on the Chibok girls. There is a fully staffed gov unit dealing with finding the girls. Nigerian’s do care, he said. @GarShehu #chibok @IamIshaSesay