UK Offers to Assist FG in Securing Release of Leah Sharibu

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The United Kingdom has promised to support efforts of the Nigerian government to secure the release of Leah Sharibu who has remained in Boko Haram captivity since she was abducted in February.

Sharibu, a 15-year-old girl, was among 119 students abducted from Government Girls Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State.

All the girls were subsequently released except five who reportedly died in detention, but Sharibu, the only Christian, was held back for “refusing to renounce her faith.”

According to the Premier Christian Radio, the House of Commons (lower chamber of the UK parliament) discussed Sharibu at pleanry last Wednesday.

A member of parliament (MP) for Carshalton and Wallington, Tom Brake, was said to have asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for updates on his department’s discussions with Nigerian authorities on the prolonged detention of Sharibu.

In her response, the Minister of State for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Harriett Baldwin, said the foreign secretary spoke to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on February 26 and extended an offer of additional support from the UK government.
“Attacks on schools and abductions of children are abhorrent and must stop. The government of Nigeria has said they are making all efforts to secure her release.”

“The UK is resolute in its support for Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram, and are providing a substantial package of intelligence, military and humanitarian support to assist in the response to the ongoing conflict,” she said.