Free Me from Captivity, Leah Sharibu Begs Buhari
• Father says no indications for her release
•Presidency: DSS Analysing audio recording
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja and Chinedu Eze with agency report
Leah Sharibu has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to have pity on her and set her free from captivity.
Miss Sharibu, who made audio call in Hausa language, is the only Christian among the abducted 119 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi, Yobe State kidnapped seven months ago.
To confirm she was still alive amid fears of her death, a major online newspaper, The Cable obtained her latest picture and the audio where she made the plea for her freedom.
Her father, Nathaniel Sharibu, also spoke to Arise TV and called on the federal government to intensify efforts to free her daughter.
Leah, who was kidnapped in February, also appealed that her family members be assisted.
“I am Leah Sharibu, the girl that was abducted in GGSS Dapchi. I am calling on the government and people of goodwill to intervene to get me out of my current situation,” she said.
“I also plead with the members of the public to help my mother, my father, my younger brother and relatives. Kindly help me out of my predicament. I am begging you to treat me with compassion, I am calling on the government, particularly, the president to pity me and get me out of this serious situation. Thank you.”
Leah’s father told Arise TV that he was confident that if the federal government intensifies efforts his daughter would be released.
He said neither government nor anyone else has contacted him or any other member of the family on any plan to release her daughter from captivity.
Sharibu who thanked all those that have supported his family and campaigned for Leah’s release, also called on Nigerians to continue to mount pressure on the government so that his daughter would be released.
“We appeal to the federal government to intensify effort to release our girl for us. We appeal to the whole nation to mount pressure on them to release her for us.
“Nothing is being done that I know of. I don’t know of any plan to release her. What I know is what I get from the media. Nobody has contacted me concerning her release.
“We feel very, very said about her continued detention. We don’t know what to do and we are pained about her captivity. I feel very grateful on the efforts Nigerians are making to see she is released,” Mr. Sharibu said.
The girls were captured by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a breakaway faction of Boko Haram.
All the girls who were captured were subsequently released, except five who reportedly died in detention, but Sharibu was held back for “refusing to renounce her faith.”
She has been kept in captivity for seven months, sparking public outrage, but the federal government said she is making efforts to get her freed.
In the picture made available to The Cable, Leah was clad in hijab, sewn from a light brown material and seated alone on a mat patterned in pink.
According to reports, the confirmation that she is still alive might be an indication for renewal of negotiation for her release.
Recently, the release of the girls sparked a controversy when the UN said a heavy ransom was paid but the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, insisted that no dime was given to the insurgents in exchange for the release of the girls.
Presidency: DSS Analysing Audio Recording
Meanwhile, the presidency late yesterday said the Department of State Services (DSS) was analysing the audio recording by Leah Sharibu circulated by an online medium, appealing to President Buhari to pity her.
In reaction to the audio tape, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, on his Twitter handle, @Garshehu, said the “secret service” had begun to analyse the audio tape.
According to Shehu, the president would ensure that all the girls yet in Boko Haram captivity are freed, disclosing that formal reaction would follow the outcome of the analysis.
“We are aware of the audio in circulation concerning the unfortunate situation of our daughter, Leah Sharibu.
“In dealing with terrorists, nothing is too trivial. The secret service is analysing the voice.
“Our reaction will follow the outcome of the investigation. For President Buhari, nothing will be spared in bringing all our girls home. He will not rest until all of them are freed.”