Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Father of Miss Leah Sharibu who was abducted by the Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP), Mr. Nathaniel Sharibu, has countered the claim by Grace Taku, an ISWAP abductee that his daughter is dead.
Sharibu who spoke with Daily Sun, confirmed that he listened to the video, saying that the development was sad and unfortunate.
Grace Taku, an aid worker with Action Against Hunger, a Non Governmental Organisation in Borno State who was abducted alongside five others, had in a recent video said Leah and Alice who were earlier abducted by ISWAP, had been killed due to the inability of the government to secure their release.
Leah Sharibu, a student of Government Girls Science Secondary School, Dapchi, Yobe State, was abducted alongside other students of the school on February 19, 2018.
However, following efforts to secure their release, 104 of the abducted students were reported to have been released, with Leah still in captivity for refusing to renounce her religion.
But Sharibu said: “I also saw the video. I saw it. I heard it concerning my daughter.
“My position is that it is very sad, it is unfortunate beyond what I can say. I believe Leah is alive. Leah is alive. I believe my daughter is still alive,” he said.
Asked what assurance he had that his daughter was still alive, Sharibu further said a close look at the video would reveal that Taku was not willing to mention that Leah was dead.
“If you listen to that video very carefully, you will know that the woman was not willing to mention that Leah is dead.
“To my own understanding, she is trying to say that as the Federal Government ignored Leah, they should not ignore her too. To my own understanding, she did not say it directly like that,” Sharibu added.
He however pleaded with the Federal Government to do something in order to secure the release of Leah, even as he said he was leaving everything in the hands of God.
The presidency too had last Friday dispelled claim that Leah was dead.
In its reaction to the said video, Federal Government said efforts were on to secure her release.
In a statement, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu 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.
“Beside 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 and 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.”