Presidency Insists That Leah Sharibu Is Still Alive

Contrary to the news making rounds that captured Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, is dead, the Presidency has dispelled the news, calling it a lie. According to the FG, Leah was still alive, and they are making efforts and negotiating for her release from ISWAP, the terrorist group holding her captive.

Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, disclosed this much in a statement he issued in Abuja. Shehu assured Nigerians that the government would not give up on Sharibu, a Christian, who was denied freedom because of her faith.

He stated, ‘‘Instead of giving up, the government is carrying forward processes that should hopefully yield her release by her captors. 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 (members) and friends, the government understands how difficult these times are for them, but government is pursuing many options to ensure the safe return of Leah Sharibu. We must commit to law and communication, using the breadth of strategies at our disposal: legal initiatives, stakeholder cooperation, involvement of all relevant parties and the use of the latest hostage negotiation techniques. Kidnapping for ransom is rising across the Sahel. We must collectively make sure we implement best practice to prevent its exploitation.”

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