FG Remains Focused On Rescuing Leah Sharibu, Osinbajo Tells Nigerians In US

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo addresses Nigerians in New York on Sunday, June 23, 2019.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government is committed to the rescue of Leah Sharibu, one of the schoolgirls abducted Boko Haram in Dapchi, Yobe State.

Osinbajo stated this on Sunday during a town hall meeting with some Nigerians in New York, United States.

The Vice President stressed that over 108 girls have been rescued so far, and added that community policing can effectively tackle the nation’s security challenges including kidnappings.

“There are cases that are as important as other cases that have received worldwide attention. But at the same time, when you measure it against the performance of girls that have been freed till date, over 108 Christian girls.

“We shouldn’t say it’s Christian religious freedom, but who is responsible for kidnapping is committing an economic crime. To solve the problem, we need community, we need the state police,” he said.

READ ALSO: CBN Gov Unveils 2019-2024 Policy Direction

Osinbajo also reacted to questions asked by diaspora Nigerians on poverty and unemployment in the country.

He lamented that the country recorded a population of 112.7 million people living in extreme poverty in 2010.

He claimed that the government during that period did not create Social Investment Programmes that will help ameliorate the situation.

“As at 2010, Nigeria had about 112.7million people living in extreme poverty. Nothing in place, there was no Social Investment Programme, there was no social security, no way of taking people out of poverty.

“That was the reason why we decided to put in place the National Social Investment Programme because it was to address questions of how to get our people out of poverty,” Osinbajo said.

 

See photos from the interaction below:

Falana Calls On Human Rights Community, Govt To Facilitate Release Of Leah Sharibu, Others

 

Human Rights Activist, Femi Falana, has called on the human rights community and the Federal Government to do everything possible to facilitate the immediate release of the Dapchi Schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, who is still in Boko Haram captivity.

Speaking at a gathering of concerned Nigerians in Lagos just days after she turned 16, Falana said Leah is not just an abductee, but a prisoner of conscience.

“The government must do everything to secure the release of that girl,” he said.

However, in the interim, he also advised that on a weekly bases, the government must brief the parents of all abducted girls.

Read Also: Groups Mark Leah Sharibu’s Second Birthday In Captivity, Demand Her Release

“It is inhuman for parents of abducted girls to be reading what happened to their daughter on the pages of the newspapers, therefore, the government must be humane by visiting the parents of the abducted girls and assuring them of the efforts being made to release their daughters”.

Speaking further, he reminded Nigerians that apart from Leah, another 112 abducted girls are still missing and therefore, they must kick into action and not rely solely on the government.

“Again I want to suggest that we do not have to wait for the government.

“The human rights community should collaborate with the National Human rights commission to have a register of missing persons”.

Group Calls For Leah Sharibu’s Release, Says Her ‘Education Is Truncated’

Leah Sharibu

 

The Gideon and Funmi Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, an advocacy group has called on the Federal Government to release the abducted Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, from the Boko Haram captivity, stressing that her education is truncated.

The criticism comes a day after Nigerians marked the second birthday of Leah who was abducted along with over 100 of her mates from the Government Girls Secondary School in Dapchi, Adamawa State.

While the other schoolgirls had regained their freedom from the insurgents, Leah, a Christian, was the only one who was not released for refusing to denounce her faith.

But appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Convener and Founder of the Gideon and Funmi Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, Reverend Gideon Para-Mallam, said the Federal Government ought to champion the cause for Leah’s release.

“Leah (Sharibu) presently is a voice. Our celebration yesterday not just in Abuja but throughout the country is to give a voice to Leah who is being held in captivity unjustly. Her education is truncated, something is happening in her life.

READ ALSO: Nigerians React As Leah Sharibu Marks Second Birthday In Boko Haram Captivity

“The (Federal) Government should be on the lead in this advocacy. But what the government sometimes do is to come up with some narratives, they come up with explanations,” he stated.

Following the continued captivity of Leah by the terrorists, Para-Mallam explained that Mrs. Sharibu has been going through emotional trauma.

When asked if he has been communicating with her parents, he responded in the affirmative saying “regularly.”

“We spoke with Leah’s dad yesterday, two days ago I spoke with the dad. I speak to the mother from time to time, I try to reach her. Her line was off so their father explained that there was no power,” he stated.

Nigerians React As Leah Sharibu Marks Second Birthday In Boko Haram Captivity

 

More than a year after Leah Sharibu was abducted along with over 100 of her mates from the Government Girls Secondary School in Dapchi, Adamawa State, hopes are still alive that she will someday be reunited with her family.

While the other schoolgirls had regained their freedom from the insurgents, Leah, a Christian, was the only one who was not released for refusing to denounce her faith.

Today marked her second birthday in captivity since her abduction on February 19, 2018 and a group of concerned Nigerians staged a march in her honour.

Some took to the social media to wish her Happy Birthday, while expressing sympathy over her plight.

Some others also expressed their frustration over her prolonged detention and urged the government to make more efforts to secure her release.

See some of the tweets below.

Groups Mark Leah Sharibu’s Second Birthday In Captivity, Demand Her Release

Groups gather at Unity Fountain in commemoration of Leah Sharibu’s birthday. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

A group of concerned Nigerians on Tuesday staged a march at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, marking the second birthday of Leah Sharibu in Boko Haram captivity.

The group started the commemoration of Sharibu’s birthday with a church service at the National Christian Center in Abuja.

Then, they proceeded on a solemn march to the Unity Fountain.

During the march, member of the group called on the Federal Government to work hard to ensure her release. They also demand adequate security to keep schoolgirls safe.

Leah Sharibu was one of the over 100 schoolgirls abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Dapchi, Adamawa State, on February 19, 2018.

Although the other girls have been freed, she has been held back reportedly for refusing to denounce her religion – Christianity.

There have been calls from across the world for her release.

 

See more photos below…

 

Leah Sharibu’s Release: ‘Time Is Of Essence’, CAN President Tells FG

 

The National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Dr. Samson Ayokunle has cautioned the Federal Government that time is of essence in the release of abducted Leah Sharibu and other Chibok girls by insurgents.

The CAN President made the appeal on Thursday during a courtesy to Adamawa state to commiserate with the Christian community over recent attacks.

“Time is of the essence, every minute those people are spending in captivity matters so much about the years of heir lives. We don’t need to delay or hesitate any longer. We are glad that the president is still making promises, but let it be transformed into action. We want to see them back very soon.”

The Christian leader affirmed that the government has everything it takes to secure the release of Leah and the Chibok girls and any further delay could be dangerous.

“Our hearts are becoming sick; we have been hopeful. It is a government that is empowered to do work and they have everything it takes in order to know where these people are to get them out. The lives of the people in captivity are very important and attach to it, high priority.”

READ ALSO: Don’t Lose Hope Of A Greater Nigeria, Says Buhari In Easter Message

Meanwhile, father of Leah, Nathan Sharibu, urged the government to live by the promises made in the rescue of his daughter.

“I’m disappointed in the federal government because the president has called my wife several times and promised that he is doing his possible best to see that my daughter has been released. He sent some ministers to my house to encourage us that our daughter will be coming back very soon, but till now, we haven’t seen her.”

Rev. Ayokunle was also in Taraba state to sympathise with the government and people over attacks in Lau and Wukari which led to lives lost.

He urged the government at both state and federal to be more proactive in the protection of lives and property in order to forestall further attacks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leah Sharibu’s Family Again Asks Buhari To Secure Her Release

Leah Sharibu (file photo)

 

The family of abducted Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu has again called on the Federal Government to secure the release of their daughter from the enclaves of the Boko Haram sect.

Speaking on behalf of the family, the Pastor of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), Pastor Fidelis Saul in Yola, regretted that the indifference shown in facilitating Leah’s release is as a result of her faith.

“I believe that the government is taking sides. This is because Leah is not the only person that was taken away. But why Leah is still being left behind today is because she is always calling Jesus Christ her saviour.

“The government is taking sides, they see Christians as nothing. That is the reason why when we are crying, nobody will care about our crying. If the government knows that we are together, they should allow Leah to come back home right now before elections.

READ ALSO: Leah Sharibu’s Family Asks Buhari To Secure Her Release Ahead Of Abduction Anniversary

Pastor Saul who also is the convener of a prayer session held in Leah’s remembrance called on the Federal Government to secure her release.

While stressing that releasing Leah would restore hope to them, he warned that “if they refuse to release Leah, it’s clear that they are showing us we are nothing in the country.”

Speaking also, Leah’s mother, Rebecca Sharibu lamented that since the abduction, she has never known peace.

The renewed calls for her release comes a year after Leah was kidnapped by a faction of the Boko Haram sect – Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

Leah is one of the over 100 schoolgirls abducted by the insurgents in February 2018 from the Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi in Yobe State.

Weeks after the abduction, the other girls were released while Leah was kept in captivity by the terrorists reportedly for refusing to renounce Christianity.

She was the only Christian among the girls.

On August 27, 2018, an audio clip emerged in which the abducted schoolgirl could be heard pleading with the President to help her regain her freedom.

In the clip, the 15-year-old also sought help for her family and asked the government also treat a case with passion.

Leah Sharibu’s Family Asks Buhari To Secure Her Release Ahead Of Abduction Anniversary

 

The family of abducted Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to secure the release of their daughter from the captivity of Boko Haram terrorists.

They made the call while addressing a press conference on Sunday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The briefing held ahead of the one year anniversary of Leah’s abduction by a faction of the Boko Haram sect – Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

Leah’s mother, Rebecca Sharibu, who spoke in Hausa broke down in tears as she called for her daughter’s release.

She appealed to the President to make good his promise of ensuring that her daughter was freed from the custody of her abductors.

Leah Sharibu's Family Asks Buhari To Secure Her Release Ahead Of Abduction Anniversary
Some members of Leah Sharibu’s family brief reporters in Abuja on February 10, 2019.

READ ALSO: ‘Its Absolutely Fake News,’ FG Condemns Report Of Leah Sharibu’s Death

Another member of the family, Gloria Puldu, explained that the press briefing was called to remind Nigerians and the entire world that their daughter has not been released by her abductors.

Gloria said, “We as a family decided to call for the press briefing to ask everyone not to forget Leah because Leah is still in captivity.

“In less than eight days now, she will be spending one year in captivity if she is not released before then.

“Leah is in captivity because she refused to renounce her faith. Please, Leah should be set free, Leah should not be allowed to be killed in captivity,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has faulted the report that Leah has died in captivity of her abductors.

Addressing reporters on Sunday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, he said, “It’s absolutely fake news. There is nothing like that.”

The minister, however, alleged that the report was an alleged plot by the political opposition to tarnish the image of the Muhammadu Buhari administration ahead of the general elections.

Leah is one of the over 100 schoolgirls abducted by the insurgents in February 2018 from the Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi in Yobe State.

Weeks after the abduction, the other girls were released while Leah was kept in captivity by the terrorists reportedly for refusing to renounce Christianity.

She was the only Christian among the girls.

On August 27, 2018, an audio clip emerged in which the abducted schoolgirl pleaded with the President to help her regain freedom.

In the clip, the 15-year-old also sought help for her family and asked the government to treat a case with passion.

‘Its Absolutely Fake News,’ FG Condemns Report Of Leah Sharibu’s Death

'Its Absolutely Fake News,' FG Condemns Report Of Leah Sharibu's Death
Leah Sharibu (file)

 

The Federal Government has condemned the report that the abducted Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, has died in captivity of Boko Haram terrorists.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated that there was nothing of such while addressing reporters on Sunday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

“It’s absolutely fake news. There is nothing like that,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Segun Adeyemi.

Mr Mohammed queried why such a report would emerge at a time when the nation and its people were preparing for the presidential election.

READ ALSONorthern Christian, Muslim Leaders Call For Release Of Leah Sharibu, Others

He said that the report was an alleged plot by the political opposition to tarnish the image of the Muhammadu Buhari administration and exploit primordial sentiments ahead of the polls.

“I think it’s part of the opposition’s strategies to throw everything at the administration and at the President. I think every day, they are realising the hopelessness of their position,” the minister claimed.

He added, “Everyday they are amazed by the support Mr President is receiving from every part of the country and they have decided that they are going to spread falsehood, … but people are not listening to them.”

Speaking about President Buhari’s campaign rally billed to hold in Ilorin on Monday, Mohammed disclosed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has put everything in place to ensure the visit was successful.

“The party has been meeting in the last couple of days to ensure that the President’s visit is very successful,” he said.

“We have watched the rallies in many parts of the country and we want to assure Mr President that our rally in terms of numbers, quality of people, entertainment and colour will rank among the best.”

The minister was confident that those who would come out to receive the President would be organic, noting that the party does not engage in renting crowds.

He, therefore, appealed to the security agencies to create a level playing field for all the contestants in the elections, to allow the people to freely exercise their franchise.

Mr Mohammed also reacted to the protest in some circles over the redeployment of Police Commissioners across the country.

He alleged that this was the handiwork of the opposition which he claimed was working to discredit the police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Key Leader Of Group That Abducted Leah Sharibu Killed – Military

BREAKING: Military Kills Key Leader Of Group That Abducted Leah Sharibu
(File) Purported ISWAP media chief, Ahmad Sale.

 

The Nigerian Military says it has killed one of the leaders of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) – the Boko Haram factional group believed to have abducted Leah Sharibu.

A statement from the Nigerian Army (NA) on Saturday revealed that the ISWAP media chief, Ahmad Sale, was neutralised in an operation by own troops in conjunction with personnel of the Nigerian Air Force.

“Reports available reveal that one Sale Ahmad Sale a. k. a. Baban Hassan, the leader of Al-Barnawi media group, a faction of Boko Haram was killed by a joint operation conducted by the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Air Force,” it said.

The Army added, “The killing of the media leader is indicative of efforts by the NA to eliminate key members of the sect.

“It is worthy to note that the sect is directly affiliated to the Islamic State and has carried out several attacks against own troops and innocent civilians in the past.”

READ ALSOArmy Shares Pictures Of ‘Propaganda Activities’ By Terrorists

The Army stressed that the death of the group’s media leader has shown that the leadership of the terrorist group was being targeted successfully by the military.

It assured Nigerians that other key members of the group would soon be apprehended or killed, thus decimating the terrorists and their activities in the country.

The Army disclosed further that it has identified the new leader of another terrorist group – Jama’atu Nus’ratul-Islami Wal-Muslimina, Abul-Fadl Iyad Gali.

“The group is a new terrorist group which Ansaru is affiliated to. In the same vein, the identification of the leader of Jama’atu Nus’ratul-Islami Wal-Muslimina group would enable the NA to target the group effectively using advanced technologies in its arsenal,” it said.

According to the Army, the existence of the group portends grave danger to the nation’s security.

– Leah’s Struggle –

The Boko Haram factional group had abducted Leah and over 100 students from the Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi, Yobe State in February this year.

Following efforts by the Federal Government for the girls to regain their freedom, the insurgents brought back the girls to the community in March after spending four weeks in captivity.

‘We Are Aware’ Of Leah Sharibu’s Audio – Presidency
Leah Sharibu (file)

 

They, however, kept Leah back in captivity reportedly for refusing to renounce her faith.

She was the only Christian among the girls.

On August 27, online news platform TheCable published an audio clip in which Leah who has been in captivity for nine months now called on President Muhammadu Buhari to help her regain freedom.

In the clip, the 15-year-old who spoke in Hausa had also sought help for her family.

She said, “I am Leah Sharibu, the girl that was abducted in GGSS Dapchi. I am calling on the government, particularly, the President to pity me and get me out of this serious 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 calling on the government and people of goodwill to intervene to get me out of my current situation. I am begging you to treat me with compassion. Thank you.”

Leah’s stay in the terrorists’ captivity has continued to generate a widespread criticism, although the government said it was making efforts to ensure her safe return.

One of the latest came from the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) which asked President Buhari to order the security agencies to secure Leah’s release and other innocent Nigerians still held by the insurgents.

Killing Of Aid Worker: BBOG Protests In Abuja, Demands Release Of Others In Captivity

 

The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign group is currently protesting in Abuja following the killing of another aid worker, Hauwa Liman, by Boko Haram insurgents on Monday.

In a statement by its spokesperson, Nifemi Onifade, issued on Monday, the group said it was deeply saddened by the news of her death, despite several appeals to the government to take action to secure the release of all those in captivity.

The statement read, “It is with deep sadness that we receive the regrettable news of Hauwa Liman, today on the 15th of October, 2018. Hauwa was a humanitarian aid worker, working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) at the time of her abduction with her colleagues, Saifura Ahmed and Alice Ngadahh – whom we now collectively refer to as the #RannWomen.

“The news we have received suggests that she was killed in a similar manner as Saifura was, about a month ago, following a threat by the terrorists to do so.

“We had been monitoring the situation since their abduction 228 days ago. We have since made numerous demands to the government, asking for actions that will ensure their safe return during a number of marches and as contained in our letter to the President earlier today”.

 

 

The group, therefore, said it is embarking on the protest to make more demands to the Federal Government to ensure that the remaining captives including Leah Sharibu, (the only one out of the 110 girls abducted at the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State), are released safely.

“For Alice Ngaddah, Leah Sharibu, our 112 #ChibokGirls and others in captivity, it is not too late.

“We will go ahead with a planned protest to the Presidency tomorrow to carry our increased demand to the Federal Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We ask that members of the public join us (tomorrow October 16) as we set off from the Unity Fountain at 9:00 am.

“We also ask for prayers for Hauwa’s family, her colleagues and others in captivity,” the statement read.

Boko Haram Kills Another Aid Worker, Threatens To Enslave Leah

Boko Haram, Borno, Lagos
File photo

 

A faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), has executed another aid worker with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), abducted in March this year.

The terrorists killed Hauwa Liman after a deadline they gave to the Federal Government to meet their demands expired, online news organisation, TheCable reported on Monday.

The online platform, which said its correspondent saw a clip of the execution, quoted ISWAP as saying, “We have kept our word exactly as we said, by killing another humanitarian worker, Hauwa Liman, who is working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that were abducted during a raid on a military facility in Rann, Kala Balge in March 2018.

“Saifura and Hauwa were killed because they are considered as Murtads (apostates) by the group because they were once Muslims that have abandoned their Islam, the moment they chose to work with the Red Cross, and for us, there is no difference between Red Cross and UNICEF.”

Hauwa Leman Photo: ICRC

 

The Federal Government has condemned the killing which comes less than a month after the terrorists murdered another aid worker – Saifura Ahmed – who was abducted along with Hauwa and another of their colleagues.

In a statement issued in London on Monday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, described the killing as dastardly, inhuman and ungodly.

According to him, the government is shocked and saddened at the killing of the aid worker by the insurgents, despite the actions taken by the government and the widespread appeal to save the young woman.

“It is very unfortunate that it has come to this,” he decried. “Before and after the deadline issued by her abductors, the Federal Government did everything any responsible government should do to save the aid worker.”

Mr Mohammed added, “As we have been doing since these young women were abducted, we kept the line of negotiations open all through. In all the negotiations, we acted in the best interest of the women and the country as a whole.”

”We are deeply pained by this killing, just like we were by the recent killing of the first aid worker. However, we will keep the negotiations open and continue to work to free the innocent women who remain in the custody of their abductors.”

The minister commiserated with the family of the slain aid worker, saying the government did all within its powers to save her life.

He also thanked all the friendly governments that have continued to work with Nigeria for the safe release of the abducted women, as well as the clerics across religious lines who have been pleading for their release.

The killing of the aid worker comes a day after the ICRC made an appeal to the Nigerian government to help secure the release of both aid workers in captivity along with Leah Sharibu before the deadline expires.

Meanwhile, the insurgents have threatened to enslave Leah and the remaining aid worker, Alice Ngaddah, a Christian who works with UNICEF, according to TheCable.

Leah is the only one out of the 110 girls abducted at the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, on February 19, 2018, who is still in captivity.

She was held back by the terrorists for refusing to renounce her faith.