Romanus Okoye and Noah Ebije, Kaduna
A principal lecturer, College of Education Gashua,Yobe State, Bitrus Bwala, has said Boko Haram is holding Leah Sharibu because the Federal Government has not done enough.
Contrary to widespread rumours that she was dead, Bwala said she is alive.
Sharibu has been in Boko Haram captivity close to two years. She was one of the 110 schoolgirls kidnapped in Dapchi, Yobe State on February 19, 2018.
All the other girls were released after negotiations with the Federal Government, but Miss Sharibu was not released for allegedly refusing to denounce her Christian faith.
The college lecturer and 10 others, who were recently kidnapped by Boko Haram appeared in a recent video shared by their abductors.
Speaking on behalf of others, Bwala appealed to the Federal Government to come to their rescue.
“We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to do whatever…it takes to come to our rescue,” he said.
The video also showed a veiled female whose face was blurred to ostensibly conceal her identity. It is not clear if the lady was Leah Sharibu
In the video, Mr. Bwala said he and 11 others were mostly Christians and from Yobe State. In the one minute and 29 seconds video, Bwala said he was on his way to his station on November 27, when he was abducted by the Tilafa army (Boko Haram). He said they witnessed the recent killing of the humanitarian aid workers.
“As you can see, sitting behind me are fellow Christians who were abducted at different points and brought to this place.”
Amidst tears, he appealed to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) “to come and rescue us because when we came here, we saw some workers here, especially workers of food organizations…but they were later executed.”
Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has urged the Federal Government to change its negotiation strategy with Boko Haram in order to rescue Sharibu and the Chibok girls still held in captivity of terrorists.
ACF’s reaction followed the killing of four aid workers, including a woman, by the Boko Haram terrorists on Saturday in Borno State.
A statement by the spokesman of the Forum, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, yesterday, urged “the Federal Government to review its negotiation strategy with the terrorists and ensure that all kidnapped persons still in the captivity of the Boko Haram, including Leah Sharibu and the Chibok girls are rescued and released to their families.
“The ACF urges the Federal Government to intensify its rescue operations in order to assuage the fears of Nigerians of what may happen to those still in captivity. ACF is shocked and saddened by the sad news of yet another killing of four aid workers, including a woman by the Boko Haram terrorists yesterday in Borno.”
Last year, two female aid workers with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), were abducted by the terrorists during an attack on the military base in Rann, Borno State and were subsequently executed by the terrorists on the grounds that the Federal Government failed to meet up with some of their demands.
“The recent action of the terrorists, to say the least was callous, barbaric and inhuman and totally against the tenets of Islam and humanity. The killing is a clear desecration of Islam which preaches sacred inviolability of the individual.
“Government’s assurances that it has been working with some friendly countries and other international organizations to save the lives of the innocent aid workers and other kidnapped female students have not yielded the desired result. ACF extends its condolences to families of who were brutally executed by the terrorists for serving humanity and equally commiserates with the families of those still captivity.”