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The Peoples Democratic Party and other organisations, including the Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders Forum; the BringBackOurGirls Coalition; the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project and the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rescue Leah Sharibu from Boko Haram captivity.

They said it was tragic that the Federal Government had failed to rescue the girl after spending about seven months in the Boko Haram captivity.

Sharibu was one of the 110 girls kidnapped on February 19, 2018 by Boko Haram terrorists from the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State.

The terrorists were reported to have detained her because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.

The Punch reported that in a video believed to have been released by Boko Haram a few weeks ago, the teenager appealed to President Buhari to secure her release.

Condemning the delay in rescuing Sharibu more than 200 days after her abduction, the PDP said Buhari should listen to Nigerians and act as a father by putting effort into securing her release.

The PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, while demanding her immediate release, called on Nigerians to pray for the “innocent” girl.

He said, “We appeal to President Buhari and his security agencies to please listen to the cry of this little girl. Nigerians were moved to tears recently after listening to her plea via a voice message she sent from the den of her abductors.

“It was a cry of innocence. This is somebody whose offence was just that she went to school. She didn’t want to die as an illiterate. Must we allow her to be punished for this? My answer is no.

“The primary duty of any government is to provide security for the citizens. That is the little we expect from this government.  The President ought to be a father to all the citizens, including Leah. Let him act so by negotiating and freeing this our daughter.”

SMLF, SERAP, others demand Sharibu’s release

Also reacting to Sharibu’s continued stay in Boko Haram detention, the spokesperson for the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum, Yinka Odumakin, in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, said it seemed the government had forgotten the teenager, noting that it had not been talking about moves to rescue her.

He wondered why the government failed to insist on Sharibu’s release along with her colleagues who were freed. He, therefore, demanded the rescue of the schoolgirl without delay.

Odumakin stated, “We just hope that the negotiation that took place was not for her to be kept so she could be released close to the election period. It would be ungodly to play such a game with the life of a young girl.

“We are demanding that whatever negotiation used in getting out other girls should be used to effect Leah’s release from Boko Haram now,” the forum insisted.

Also, a member of the BringBackOurGirls coalition, Peter Ilya, said the Federal Government had been quiet about rescuing Sharibu, noting that Nigerians should not discount reports of official complicity in the Dapchi girls’ abduction.

He described as curious the manner the girls were kidnapped without resistance from security forces.

 

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