The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said on Friday, that Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau lied by taking credit for the abduction of over 300 students in a Katsina State Government school last week.
The minister made the statement at a press conference in Abuja while responding to questions on whether there was any foreign collaboration that led to the release of the students.
Speaking on Shekau’s claim on the abduction of the students, Mohammed insisted that the boys were kidnapped by bandits.
He said, “They were kidnapped by bandits, not by Boko Haram.
“The attempt by Boko Haram to claim responsibility shows how decimated and irrelevant they have become.
“There is no doubt as to who kidnapped the schoolboys.
“Boko Haram was seeking relevance by trying to appropriate to themselves the work of bandits.
“A lot of fake videos were being sent out by Boko Haram to create the impression that they did it.
“Boko Haram is weakened and seeking relevance and trying to give the impression that they are still a potent force.”
On whether there was a foreign collaboration in the rescue efforts, he said, “As to whether there was a foreign collaboration, don’t forget I said that we thank all patriotic Nigerians and all friends of Nigeria.”
The minister, however, declined to give details of those foreign individuals or countries who supported Nigeria during the process of rescuing the schoolboys and the type of help given.
Mohammad also insisted that no ransom was paid for the release of the students, saying: “Our security and intelligence agencies were completely on top of the situation.”
According to him, “there is nowhere in the world that they don’t negotiate with terrorists”, especially when there is a need to save lives.