Leah Sharibu Still Alive, FG Negotiating Release —Presidency
Following the report that the kidnapped Dapchi school girl was killed in Boko Haram custody, fresh news says that Leah Sharibu is alive.
The Presidency while announcing that Leah Sharibu is alive has dismissed speculation that the Dapchi schoolgirl still held by Boko Haram, is dead.
It said Miss Sharibu was alive. And the Federal Government continues to negotiate her release from the terrorist group. The news came from the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity. Garba Shehu said this in a statement he issued on Saturday in Abuja.
Shehu assured Nigerians that the government would not give up on Sharibu. She was a Christian, who was denied freedom by the terrorist group because of her faith.
He stated, ‘‘Instead of giving up, the government is carrying forward processes that should hopefully yield her release by her captors.”
Stressing that she was alive, Shehu added, “Lines of communications remain open with the kidnappers. Also ISWAP, to secure the release of Leah Sharibu.
Garba Shehu Debunked Previous Rumours
‘‘Contrary to false reports, she is alive – given assurances from our security agencies. And the government is committed to her safe return, as well as all other hostages to their families.
“Kidnapping for ransom should never be encouraged. This means not capitulating to the demands of terrorists: refrain from rewarding their heinous crimes with payment.
“With the abduction of loved family (members) and friends, the government understands how difficult these times are for them, but government is pursuing many options to ensure the safe return of Leah Sharibu.
“We must commit to law and communication, using the breadth of strategies at our disposal: legal initiatives, stakeholder cooperation, involvement of all relevant parties and the use of the latest hostage negotiation techniques.
‘‘Kidnapping for ransom is rising across the Sahel. We must – collectively – make sure we implement best practice to prevent its exploitation.”
He called for patience to allow the government’s efforts to come to fruition.
Rumors Of Leah Sharibu's Death
Just last month, Nigerians on social media reacted to claims by Grace Taku. She is one of two aid workers in the abducted custody of Boko Haram terrorists. She said that Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi schoolgirl in Boko Haram captivity is dead.
The Federal Government later reacted to the claim, with Presidential aide Garba Shehu issuing a statement.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity said in a Facebook post that negotiations for the release of all those in captivity were still ongoing. Shehu did not say if Sharibu was alive or not. He said the Presidency had been briefed on the matter and that action would be taken.
He wrote, “Beside these aid workers, there are some others about whom this engagement is about-Leah Sharibu, a religious leader and all the others. These discussions have been ongoing even before this time and what this latest incident has done is to bring urgency to the efforts that the secret service is making.
Government is making contacts, in the hope that the captors will see reason to not visit hardship or even harm on these innocent individuals.”
This is hopeful news, not just for Leah's family, but for the whole country. We hope the negotiations are successful, so that Leah goes home to be with her family.