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Leah Sharibu must not die… Nigerians tell federal government

MANY Nigerians have urged the federal government to do everything humanly possible to secure the release of Leah Sharibu, as well as the other aid workers that are still being held by Boko Haram.

This is following Monday’s release of a video clip by the insurgents, showing the execution of Saifura Ahmed, one of the three aid workers that were abducted in Rann, Borno state, in March this year.

Ahmed was a staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), while the two other abductees — Hauwa Leman and Alice Ngaddah — worked with UNICEF before they were kidnapped.

In the video clip released on Monday and seen by The Cable newspaper, Ahmed was wearing a white hijab and was shot from behind. One of the terrorists who did not reveal his name said the execution was a “message of blood” to the Nigerian government since all efforts to contact them had failed.

“We contacted the government through writing and also sent audio messages but the government have ignored us. So, here is a message of blood,” the insurgent said.

“The other nurse and midwife will be executed in similar manner in one month, including Leah Sharibu,” he added.

In response, President Muhammadu Buhari issued a statement condemning the execution and called on the international community to prevail on Boko Haram “to stop these acts of extreme barbarism”.

However, many say the President should do more than just condemning the Boko Haram executions or asking the international community to intervene. They want Buhari to use the same strategy that led to the rescue of the kidnapped Dapchi schoolgirls – which included Leah Sharibu – to also negotiate for the release of the remaining hostages.

Recall that when the Dapchi girls were released in March this year, Leah Sharibu was held back by the insurgents because, according to her colleagues, she refused to renounce Christianity and convert to Islam.

“’We don’t negotiate with terrorists’. Bullshit. Whatever that was done to bring all the other girls back should be done for Leah Sharibu,” wrote a Twitter user whose name read simply as Maryam.

Another tweet read: “If it was payment Boko Haram wanted for Leah Sharibu in the first place, why wasn’t she included in the initial bargain?”

Similarly, Oluyemi Fasipe, another Twitter user asked: “Dear President Buhari, are you going to wait until Leah Sharibu is killed by BokoHarm before you move to #freeleahsharibu, #BringBackOurGirls and secure the release of other captives?”

The bring-back-our-girls (BBOG) group has said that it will march to the Presidential Villa on Wednesday to demand the rescue of all the Boko Haram hostages, including the remaining Chibok Schoolgirls, Leah Sharibu and the kidnapped aid workers.

The BBOG also carried out a protest at the Abuja offices of the ICRC and UNICEF on Tuesday.

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