Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on media and publicity, says only God knows when Leah Sharibu, the kidnapped Dapchi girl, will be rescued.
We had on Monday published a picture and audio of the teenager, who was kidnapped in February, begging the government for help.
Despite the release of the other Dapchi schoolgirls, Sharibu was held back by her captors for “refusing to renounce her faith”.
When asked to give a time-frame for Sharibu’s rescue, Adesina said God is the sole determinant of her return.
“For how much longer, I think that question can only be answered by God. I believe that God is interested in that young girl and will ensure that she is preserved,” Adesina said on a Channels TV programme on Tuesday.
“I think when that clip that we have is verified, at least one will be sure that it’s her and when that is determined, we should all be glad that she is alive.
“When will she return? By the grace of God, the government is working on it and we believe she will be back.”
Adesina said President Muhammadu Buhari had made a commitment to do anything to rescue the kidnapped girls even if it means paying for their release.
The presidential spokesman said: “One thing we should always remember, as Nigerians, is that early in the life of this administration, then it was Chibok girls, the president said that whatever it will take to get the girls back including paying, he would do. It’s on record.”
He, however, denied reports that the government paid a ransom for the release of the other 110 girls.
“That is not confirming that there was payment on Dapchi because the then DG of DSS was categorical the day the girls were brought back and it was in public glare that no a dime was paid for Dapchi girls. On Dapchi, there was no payment,” he said.
According to Adesina, reaching out to the Sharibu family is not “a presidency matter”.
“I expect that the Yobe state government is doing that. In Nigeria, they expect the presidency to do everything,” he added.