By Oladipupo Awojobi
An anti terror group, the Coalition Against Terrorism (CATE), has urged the United Nations as well as the United States government to assist in the rescue of Leah Sharibu, the Dapchi school girl still being held by Boko Haram.
The group said it heard that Boko Haram was demanding N100 billion for the release of the Christian school girl, Leah Sharibu.
In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, the group said that the demand, if proven to be true, was a confirmation that Boko Haram was desperately looking to raise operational cash by pawning its hostage to the highest bidder.
In the statement signed by its national coordinator, Gabriel Onoja, the CATE explained that the situation places Nigeria’s decision makers in a quandary as they must make choices between safeguarding the wellbeing of Leah and preventing Boko Haram from gaining resources that places the entire 194 million citizens of Nigeria at risk.
Onoja therefore urged international community to put pressure on the Nigerian Authorities not to succumb to Boko Haram’s demand, stressing that a financially vulnerable Boko Haram is a weakened target for a coalition of the willing to effectively take it out once and for all.
Besides, he said it was also a time when the Nigerian state can use all the help it can get to stamp out insurgency, now that it had been weakened.
He said, “We therefore call on the United States’ government to intervene and demand the unconditional release of Leah and other hostages being held by Boko Haram without any further delay. There should be a way for the United States to identify, isolate and sanction those that have continued to promote the violence through their tacit support of Boko Haram.
“The imperative right now is for the United States to act to save the rights of women and children all over the world. It would have failed in this mission if Leah has to be bought like a common commodity from the terrorists that are holding her against her will.
“Should any entity pay up the amount that the terrorists are asking for, then no girl child in the region will be safe again as the terrorists will embark on an orgy of abduction each time they are in need of money to finance their evil operations. A decision on whether or not to pay the ransom demanded by these terrorists must therefore be assessed from the viewpoint of the long term impact of acceding to the demands of the terrorists.”