Presidency condemns footage on Leah Sharibu’s purported death

Presidency condemns footage on Leah Sharibu’s purported death

The Presidency has condemned the latest video released by Boko Haram insurgents. The footage reveals some abducted humanitarian aid workers calling on government and Nigerians to rescue them from their captors.

Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, made the condemnation in a statement in Abuja.

According to him, the latest video has created urgency for the security agencies; especially the secret service, to ensure the release of those held captive by terrorist groups.

The presidential aide said: “The Presidency has been briefed by the responsible government agency about the disturbing video showing our citizens, the humanitarian aid workers, held captive.

“Presidency has been given assurances that contact is being made and the captors are being talked to.

READ ALSO: ‘Leah Sharibu killed because of FG’s tardiness’ (Video)

“Besides these aid workers, there are some others about whom this engagement is about – Leah Sharibu, a religious leader and all the others.

“These discussions have been ongoing even before this time. What this latest incident has done is to bring urgency to the efforts that the secret service is making.

“Government is making contacts in the hope that the captors will see reason to not visit hardship; or even harm on these innocent individuals. Government is working.’’

The said footage, which had gone viral, showed the only lady among the six abducted aid workers calling on the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Federal Government and Nigerians to come to their rescue.

A brief of Leah Sharibu

Leah, a Christian schoolgirl aged fourteen at the time of her capture, is the only remaining Dapchi schoolgirl still held hostage. After the others were released, it as reported that Leah had previously escaped from her abductors but been caught and brought back by a nomad Fulani family. Leah was reported not released along with the other children, because she refused to convert to Islam.

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, she has subsequently been given to a Boko Haram fighter as a slave. In August 2018 an audio was released of Leah pleading for her freedom. Also, in October 2018 her parents revealed that Boko Haram had threatened to kill her later that month, should the government not meet their demands.

In February 2019 social media reports circulated about her death, but were dismissed by the government as politically motivated disinformation.

On May 14, 2019, Leah celebrated her 16th Birthday in Boko Haram custody. She has spent over 400 days in captivity.

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