The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), has condemned Punch newspapers over reports that ransom was paid by the government in exchange for the recently released 21 of the abducted Chibok girls.
DHQ described the story as unsubstantiated, saying it is quite unfortunate. The statement reads:
“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 defence headquarters and other security agencies will not be distracted and would remain focus in achieving its objectives in the North East.
“The important thing is that the release has been made and circumstances surrounding this effort should not be a matter of controversy so as not to overheat the polity and jeopardizing the ongoing efforts to secure the release of the remaining girls and other innocent citizens still in captivity of the terrorists.
“The insinuations that ransom was paid to the terrorists which the terrorists used to escalate the recent attacks in the North East is completely false and imagination of the author.
“The general public should, therefore, discountenance it in its entirety.
“The DHQ wishes to once more remind the media to be cautious of such reports which have serious implication on national and to further add that, as partners in progress, the media also has a stake in the ongoing efforts to restore lasting peace in the North East and the country in general.