The Federal Government has said that it is not giving up its moves on negotiating
for the release of Leah Sharibu, stating that she is still alive.
Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the
Buhari administration was still in talks with her captors in the hope that she would be
Leah Sharibu, the student of Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School,
Dapchi, was kidnapped by a faction of Boko Haram terrorists in February 2018.
Speaking to a group of journalists on Saturday in Abuja, Shehu said: ‘‘Instead of giving up,
the government is carrying forward processes that should hopefully yield her release by her captors.”
The presidential spokesman was responding to speculations on whether Leah Sharibu, the
kidnapped Dapchi school girl had been harmed by her abductors.
He told reporters emphatically that much of what is written about the girl in the press is false news.
“Lines of communications remain open with the kidnappers, ISWAP, to secure the release
of Leah Sharibu.
‘‘Contrary to false reports, she is alive – given assurances from our security agencies-, and
the government is committed to her safe return, as well as all other hostages to their families.
“Kidnapping for ransom should never be encouraged. This means not capitulating to the
demands of terrorists: refrain from rewarding their heinous crimes with payment.
‘’With the abduction of loved family and friends, the government understands how difficult
these times are for them, but government is pursuing many options to ensure the safe return
of Leah Sharibu.
“We must commit to law and communication, using the breadth of strategies at our disposal:
legal initiatives, stakeholder cooperation, involvement of all relevant parties and the use of the
latest hostage negotiation techniques.
‘‘Kidnapping for ransom is rising across the Sahel. We must – collectively – make sure we implement
best practice to prevent its exploitation,’’ he said.