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Opinion

Mr President, our daughter Leah Sharibu still in captivity -parents write Tinubu

The parents of Leah Sharibu, Nathan and Rebecca have demanded the rescue of their daughter, Leah and all others who are in captivity stressing that the recent reports on Leah is both confusing and disheartening.

The parents wondered why local sources would have information about Leah but security agents are not leveraging on such to rescue their daughter who had been in captivity for over five years.

A statement by Dr. Gloria Puldu for Leah Sharibu’s parents issued in Jos said, “Recent reports on Leah Sharibu, the young girl taken captive by ISWAP terrorists over five years ago, is both confusing and disheartening.

“Confusing because there have been unsubstantiated rumors and scant information regarding the whereabouts of Leah. There were a few reports by those who were released or had escaped claiming that she might have been married off and given birth to two children. No pictures, audio or video has ever surfaced and, If anything, these were assumptions based on her age and condition of captivity.

“Why should we believe, “Local security sources made this revelation in a report”? If they have intelligence on Leah’s whereabouts and any information, then where are the Nigerian armed forces? Why isn’t the government involved in securing her release? Disheartening because only so often do we hear anything on Leah Sharibu. On the two-year anniversary of Leah’s capture President Buhari said that, “…we redouble our efforts for Leah’s return, we can never allow the terrorists to divide us…”.

“Nathan and Rebecca Sharibu are asking what happened to that promise? Buhari left office without fulfilling that promise of rescuing our daughter Leah. Our family remain grief-stricken by our daughter’s capture and ongoing imprisonment, even as the Nigerian government has been unsuccessful in securing her release. In March 2020, Leah’s father, Nathan Sharibu pleaded, “I have not heard anything from Federal, state and local governments since my daughter was abducted. I am even confused now. I need your assistance to put pressure on the Federal Government to do something about the release of my daughter”.

Dr Puldu added, “We recall that on February 19, 2018, Leah Sharibu was kidnapped along with 109 of her classmates from the Government Girls Science and Technical School in Dapchi, Yobe State, Nigeria by ISWAP, a faction of Boko Haram. Most were released (five lost their lives); but Leah – because she refused to renounce her Christian faith – has remained in captivity over five years, during which time she has been forced to bear two children by her captors. It is so sad that abductions of students are still ongoing even in this new administration.

“About a week ago we woke up to the news of students abducted from Zamfara. This is very shameful and disheartening to Nigerian parents. Upon the terrible economic hardship parents still have to grapple with the safety of their children in school. We are calling again with a very strong and loud voice on the current government led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to please wake up to its very primary responsibility of safety and protection of the lives and properties of Nigerian citizens. We demand the rescue of Leah Sharibu and all others who had been in captivity in the hands of terrorists.

“The global community seems to have forgotten Leah’s plight (and other girls like her) and allowed Nigeria to devolve into chaos that it is currently in. No one is demanding accountability or transparency from Nigeria, but continue to give billions of dollars in aid and relief. Leah remains a captive to a militant religious group within Nigeria without any apparent knowledge of her whereabouts. RESCUE LEAH.”

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