The Nigerian Presidency has said that it is working hard to secure the release of Leah Sharibu from Boko Haram captivity.
The government disclosed that Sharibu, the secondary school student kidnapped in Dapchi, Yobe state in February 2018 by Boko Haram insurgents, is still alive.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Saturday, Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said that the government is not giving up on negotiations for her release.
“Instead of giving up, the government is carrying forward processes that should hopefully yield her release by her captors,” NAN quoted Shehu to have said.
“Lines of communications remain open with the kidnappers, ISWAP, to secure the release of Leah Sharibu.
“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 and friends, the government understands how difficult these times are for them, but the government is pursuing many options to ensure the safe return of Leah Sharibu.”
Recall that in July, a video where aid workers kidnapped in Borno appealed to the federal government and Christain Association of Nigeria (CAN) to negotiate her release went viral.
In the video, a kidnapped aid worker identified as Grace said she did not want to share the same fate with previous victims (referencing Sharibu and Hauwa Liman) who were killed because no one cared to rescue them.
Leah Sharibu was among 110 students of Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School, Dapchi, kidnapped by a faction of Boko Haram terrorists in February 2018.
In March, the terrorists returned 104 girls to their families, all the students they had abducted from the school except for Leah Sharibu.
They reportedly kept Leah Sharibu because she refused to comply with their demands and convert to Islam.