October Deadline: Leah Sharibu’s Parents Beg Buhari to Save Her

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  • Boko Haram commander, who planned to free 300 captives, killed for treachery

Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

Following the October deadline given by Boko Haram, which said after that date Leah Sharibu, the last of the abducted 110 Dapchi schoolgirls still in captivity, will be slain if their demands were not met, her parents, Mr. Nathan Sharibu, and his wife, Rebecca, have cried out to the Federal Government to help secure her release by meeting the insurgents’ demands. Addressing a press conference yesterday in Jos, the Plateau State capital, Mrs. Sharibu, wept bitterly, saying, “If the Federal Government does not respond to the demands of the insurgents, my daughter might be killed.”

In a related development, a top commander in the camp of Mamman Nur, which is believed to be the deadliest faction of the Boko Haram terrorist group, was assassinated for alleged treachery, in a major revolt. A source said Ali Garga had planned to free 300 Boko Haram captives, but his plan was exposed. He was subsequently arrested and killed by other commanders still loyal to the Mamman Nur faction of the terrorist group. The source said Garga, a Fulani, also planned to surrender to the Nigerian military after leading the abductees to freedom.

Mrs. Sharibu, while she addressed the press in Jos, was flanked by founder of Citizen Monitoring Group (CMG), Gideon Para-Mallam; Executive Secretary of International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES), Mr. Mike Adegbile; Apostle Chris Bature; and Dr. Gloria Samdi.

“I call on the President of Nigeria, Mohammadu Buhari, Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, and to other well-meaning Nigerians, and indeed, to the whole world, to do whatever they can to secure the release of my daughter before she is killed,” she said. “A threat has been sent out by Boko Haram that Leah will be the next in line to be killed in October if their demands are not met. By Monday, October will set it, so the ultimatum is now here.”

Also speaking by telephone, Mr. Sharibu said, “I do not know what their demands are, but whatever they are, the Federal Government should, please, meet them so that our daughter will be free.”

While thanking Nigerians and the world for standing with them in prayers and for pushing hard to ensure that Leah, who has been held for seven months, is released, the Sharibus also denied knowledge of any court case instituted against the federal government over the matter. They said, “We do not know anything about the court case, and our concern is not money but how to secure the safe release of our daughter.”

Meanwhile, a source told THISDAY that Garga was killed on September 27 by other commanders loyal to Mamman Nur faction who had been tipped off about his plans. The source said Garga was a Fulani man from Taraba State and he had been forced to join the Nur faction of the group three years ago after his cows were seized from him by Boko Haram on the fringes of Lake Chad.

“Garga was trained on how to fight war and engage in combat operations by the terrorist group. He also possessed an extraordinary ability of knowing the terrain because he was a herdsman. This made him to be elevated to the level of a Commanding Officer by the Mamman Nur’s Faction fast,” the source stated. He added, “Garga was not interested in holding captives for ransom like others. What is paramount to him is getting his livestock back and continuing the life of a herdsman and being allowed to reunite with his family.”

The source said before Garga was killed, he was in touch with a foreign influencer who planned to rescue him and others.