Mr. Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, on Saturday revealed that Leah Sharibu is alive.
The presidential spokesman while speaking to journalists in Abuja noted that the federal government was still negotiating her release.
Sharibu was abducted alongside her classmates in her school, the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State. The girls were released few weeks later, but without Miss Sharibu.
She was left behind in the hands of the Boko Haram terrorist group because she refused to denounce Christianity.
Recently, some aide workers who were abducted by the Boko Haram sect gave indication that Leah might have been killed because the government refused to do the needful for her release.
But the latest report from the presidency reveals that she is very much alive and the government would not give up until she was released.
‘‘Instead of giving up, the government is carrying forward processes that should hopefully lead to her release by her captors.
“Lines of communications remain open with the kidnappers, Islamic State in West Africa, to secure the release of Leah Sharibu.
‘‘Contrary to reports, she is alive, given assurances from the 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 members and friends, the government understands how difficult these times are for them, but the 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.”
Jonathan Dennis is an Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He oversees the production and publication of stories on NaijaBuzz.News and on Naija Buzz News TV. The former banker left his banking job to join Naija Buzz News in 2019. He was briefly the head of the “Wetin Dey Happen” news team. Jonathan is a proud ‘Akwa-Ibomite’ from Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria.