In video, abducted Leah Sharibu pleads for rescue
The development came months after the Federal Government in May this year dismissed an insinuation that it had abandoned negotiations for the rescue of the lone Christian girl abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists.
The government admitted, however, that efforts to secure her release by the insurgents had been tortuous and complicated.
Sharibu has been in Boko Haram captivity since February 19, 2018 when she and 111 other girls were abducted from Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State.
When others were released following the Federal Government’s negotiation with the abductors, Sharibu was denied freedom for allegedly refusing to denounce her Christian faith.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed had in May, while fielding questions from State House correspondents over the fate of the schoolgirl, said that negotiation with insurgents all over the world was always a tortuous exercise because it was not usually a face to face discussion.
He assured that the Federal Government had not given up the effort to secure her safe release.
The minister and Lawal Daura, the sacked Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), had said the release of the other girls was part of a wider ceasefire talks with the insurgents.
However, apparently losing patience, Sharibu yesterday reportedly pleaded with President Buhari to secure her release from captivity.
She, in a 35-second online audio which trended yesterday, said: “I am Leah Sharibu, the girl that was abducted in GGSS Dapchi.
I am calling on the government and people of goodwill to intervene to get me out of my current situation.
“I also plead to the members of the public to help my mother, my father, my younger brother and relatives. Kindly help me out of my predicament.
I am begging you to treat me with compassion, I am calling on the government, particularly, the president to pity me and get me out of this serious situation. Thank you.”
It was not certain that the voice was that of Sharibu as The Guardian could not confirm its source.
Boko Haram insurgents are known for sending out videos of their victims.
In his reaction, a Second Republic politician and chieftain of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Guy Ikokwu, pleaded with President Buhari to heed the call of Sharibu and make sure she is released like the other girls.
The Assistant Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Abiodun Salami, said: “The president is not happy leaving anybody in captivity.
He is a father, the government is doing everything to ensure her release, and by the grace of God, she would be release very soon.”
The Presidency, in a reaction by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said: “We are aware of the audio in circulation concerning the unfortunate situation of our daughter, Leah Sharibu. In dealing with terrorists, nothing is too trivial.
The secret service is analysing the voice. Our reaction will follow the outcome of the investigation.
For President Buhari, nothing will be spared in bringing all our girls home. He will not rest until all of them are freed.”