The father of Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi girl still in Boko Haram custody has accused the federal government of abandoning his family and not communicating with them on efforts to secure his daughter’s freedom. Nathan Sharibu, who said his wife and Leah’s mother cried on Monday, May 14, on the abducted girl’s 15th birthday, spoke on a radio programme monitored in Abuja.
“It is very sad and the family is very weak. The mother was even crying this morning because today is her birthday. She is 15 years old today and we are very sad about her absence.” He added: “To be honest, I have not received any support from the government but from the community and church members, I thank God because they have been encouraging me, lifting me through their prayers, visitation and words of advice. “I have not heard anything from federal, state and local governments since my daughter was abducted. I am even confused now. “I need your assistance to put pressure on the federal government to do something about the release of my daughter,” he said.
Also on Monday, May 14, members of the #BringBackOurGirls (#BBOG) advocacy group expressed sadness over Leah’s continuous stay in captivity. Members of the group have also accused the federal government of abandoning Leah’s family, community and refusing to provide Nigerians with updates on her release. In a statement signed by leaders of the group, Oby Ezekwesili, Aisha Yesufu and Florence Ozor, to mark Leah’s 15th birthday, said there was no reason the arrangement by the government on the other girls release would have left Leah out.
They said: “Today is day 83 since 110 schoolgirls of Government Science and Technical College, Dapchi were abducted in their school on the evening of 19th February 2018. “On 21 March, 104 were returned by the terrorists by an arrangement with the federal government, five others are not accounted for by the government. “Leah Sharibu, the only #DapchiGirl who remains in captivity (for refusing to renounce her faith and convert to another religion) turns 15 years of age today. “Our movement is extremely saddened and distraught on this 83rd day of her captivity, and the fact that the young teenager has had to mark her birthday in captivity with terrorists.
“#BringBackOurGirls is equally exasperated at the federal government that has abandoned the family of Leah Sharibu (and the families of the 5 others.) The federal government has not reached out to the families of the 5 #DapchiGirls, nor accounted for them. “Our movement wishes Leah Sharibu a happy birthday. We also demand a status update from the federal government on Leah Sharibu. “It is unconscionable that the family, community, and the public has gotten no updates since the federal government made empty promises in March about prioritising her return. “We call on the federal government to return her immediately. There is no reason any arrangements with the terrorists should have left her out, in the first place.”