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Senate urges Nigerian government to secure release of Leah Sharibu


Leah Sharibu

Nigerian Senate on Tuesday urged the Nigerian government to secure the release of Leah Sharibu in captivity of a Boko-Haram splinter loyal to the Islamic State.

Leah was amongst about 111 girls abducted in Government Girls Science and Technology College, Dapchi, Yobe State on February 19, 2018.

After a month, the girls were released, but five of them died en route Dapchi. Leah Sharibu was denied freedom over her refusal to renounce her Christian faith for Islam.

Since her abduction, civil society, pressure groups, activists have demanded her release to not fruitful avail.

The Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari in a phone call to Leah’s mother Rebecca Sharibu also promised to ensure freedom for Leah and other girls under siege of the terrorist group but was yet to secure her release.

Earlier this week, her abductors, Boko-Haram murdered an aide worker to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Hauwa Leman and threatened to keep Leah as “a slave for life”.

This has prompted the Nigerian Senate during a plenary sitting to call on the Buhari-led government to ensure the release of Leah Sharibu and other abductees in Boko-Haram’s camp.

The Senate also observed a two-minute silence in honour of Hauwa Leman who was recently killed by Boko Haram.

Nigerian Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki urged government security agencies to prevent such occurrences.

“Distinguished Colleagues, irrespective of the decision that we have taken, I believe that our committees on defence and security, as part of their own responsibilities should engage with the security agencies to find out if there are other issues that need to be addressed in order to prevent such reoccurrences,” Saraki said.

Also, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and other lawmakers with debate on the issue resolved to pay an official condolence visit to the families of the deceased.

The Senate also urged the Nigerian government to ensure that “through its security agencies, must do whatever is necessary to guarantee the freedom of both Leah Sharibu and other surviving hostages of the ICRC being held by the insurgents.”

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