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Senate urges FG to facilitate Leah Sharibu’s release


Leah Sharibu, one of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls

Senate yesterday charged the Federal Government to urgently facilitate the release of Leah Sharibu, a female student of Science Secondary School, Dapchi in Yobe State still in Boko Haram’s captivity.

A splinter group of Boko Haram terrorists had on February 19, 2018 abducted 115 girls from the school, but released 109 a month after, saying that five of the girls died in captivity, while Leah was held back for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

Although government promised Leah’s parents that she would be released by all means possible, she is still in captivity 13 months after.

But drawing Senate’s attention to her plight through a point of order, Senator Shehu Sani (PRP, Kaduna Central), said there was the need to urge the Federal Government to expedite action towards rescuing the girl.

Sani, who rode through Order 43 under personal explanation said: “Fourteen months of Leah in Boko Haram’s captivity and five years of the yet to be released Chibok girls, calls for national concern and urgent need for the authorities to do everything possible to release them.

“What perhaps may be the most important strategy to be adopted in getting Leah and others out of captivity, is to dialogue with their abductors. It had worked in Afghanistan, Pakistan terrorised by the Talibans and other places where similar abductions took place.”

Being a matter raised under self-explanation, the lawmakers did not debate Sani’s motion but Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the Federal Government should make every effort to release Leah and the others.

Also yesterday, Senate confirmed President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for appointment as Board members of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The President had in November 2018 sent six nominees as board members of NBS to the Senate.

The confirmation followed the adoption of report of Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs.

Those confirmed are, Kabiru Nakaura, Chairman (North West), while other members include, Akinola Bashir (South West), Moses Momoh (South South), Wallijoh Ahijoh (North Central), Adam Modu (North East) and Nwafor Chukwudi (South East).

Senate also confirmed the appointment of three ambassadorial nominees namely: Christopher Chejina (Delta), Bukar Kolo (Yobe) and M. A. Mabul (Benue).

Meanwhile, the Senate failed to get any report on the 2019 budget from its Appropriation Committee upon the expiration of deadline to that effect yesterday.

Consequently, Senate failed to resolve issues on the budget document during plenary before adjourning session to Tuesday, April 16.

The leadership of the Senate had, last week, expressed desire to pass the N8.83 trillion 2019 Appropriation Bill before proceeding on Easter holiday, but there are fears that the committees are ready with their reports.

Senate President Bukola Saraki had on last Tuesday given the sub-committees Wednesday, April 10, 2019 deadline to submit their budget reports to the Appropriations Committee, which was mandated to submit the budget report yesterday in readiness for its approval by April 16.

Saraki, however, stressed the Appropriations panel would be forced to use executive submissions if the sub-committees fail to submit their reports to the Appropriations Committee by Wednesday.

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