By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
Information contained in a new book, ‘Leah Sharibu: The Girl Boko Haram Left Behind,’ suggests the abduction of 110 girls from Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi in Yobe State by Boko Haram, the radical Islamic insurgents, on February 19, 2018, might have been due to sabotage by some members of the military high command.
According to the author of the book, Mr. Reno Omokri, a spokesperson to former President Goodluck Jonathan and THISDAY columnist, circumstances around the kidnap clearly showed that the incidence could not have happened without the connivance of the military, which had the mandate to protect the town.
“It is my belief, for instance, that it is impossible that the Dapchi Girls, including Leah Sharibu, could have been abducted if their town and school was guarded by the officers and men of the Nigerian Army stationed in Dapchi,” Omokri said in the book billed for release shortly and made available to THISDAY at the weekend, adding, “It is also impossible that those soldiers, who strangely withdrew from Dapchi a few hours to the kidnap, would have done so on their own volition without an order from above.”
He added, “The truth becomes clear that whoever ordered the withdrawal of the troops in Dapchi, only hours before Boko Haram invaded the town and abducted Leah and her colleagues, must have been aware of Boko Haram’s plans, especially as we will show that the Nigerian government received an intelligence tip a day before the abduction of the Dapchi girls of Boko Haram’s intentions.”
Although 104 of the Dapchi girls were released on March 21, 2018, Leah Sharibu was held back by Boko Haram for refusing to denounce her Christian faith.
He accused the President Muhammadu Buhari administration of slacking in its duty to rescue Sharibu, quoting a widely known journalist and Boko Haram source, Mr. Ahmad Salkida, who said that there was unwillingness on the part of the administration to secure the school girl’s release from Boko Haram.
“Nothing has ever seemed tricky to me like the case of Leah. I get any kind of updates, as my records have shown, but when it is the case of Leah they (Boko Haram leadership) try to avoid my queries,” he quoted Salkida as saying.
He was of the view that Sharibu was not made an international cause by those who might have been interested in her safety.
In his seven-chapter book, Omokri insisted that it was impossible that the Dapchi girls could not have been abducted if their town and school were guarded by the officers and men of the Nigerian Army stationed in Dapchi.
He wrote that it was also impossible that soldiers, who withdrew from Dapchi a few hours to the kidnap, would have done so on their own volition without an order from above.
He concluded that whoever ordered the withdrawal of the troops in Dapchi, only hours before Boko Haram invaded the town and abducted Leah and her colleagues, must have been aware of Boko Haram’s plans.
Accusing elements of the Nigerian government of collusion with the radical Islam terror group, Boko Haram in the Dapchi incident, Omokri raised some questions about the saga.
He queried, “What is the extent of the collusion between the current Nigerian government of President Buhari and Boko Haram? Who gave the fateful order to the military to withdraw from their stations in Dapchi hours before the girls were abducted? Why was Boko Haram allowed to stroll in and out of Dapchi on March 21, 2018, without any attempt by the Nigerian authorities to stop them? How is Boko Haram able to fly its planes and land them in Nigeria’s territorial airspace without the government knowing and stopping them. From where did Boko Haram get planes? How do they land these planes?
“On Monday, October 18, 2010, former President Goodluck Jonathan commissioned the Total Radar Coverage Nigerian Airspace (TRACON). By this project, Nigeria is fully covered by radar. Thus, how is it possible for Boko Haram to own or operate planes without the knowledge of the Nigerian government?”
Capturing the emotion of Leah’s father, a serving Inspector in the Nigeria Police and her mother a teacher, Omokri criticised Buhari for hailing the rescue of the 13 Thai youths who were trapped in a cave, but failing to do something about Leah who is held captive by Boko Haram for her refusal to denounce her Christian faith.
Omokri asserted that the Dapchi girls’ abduction was a false flag intelligence operation to justify the request by the Buhari-led Nigerian administration to borrow one billion dollars for national security.
According to him, such funds are disbursed as discretionary spending and not accounted for.
He accused the president of seeking the funds for the purpose ensuring his re-election.