© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Leah Sharibu still alive, says lecturer abducted alongside 12 others by ISWAP
…appeals to FG for freedom
A recent kidnapped victim of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) identified as Bitrus Zakka Bwala has disclosed that Leah Sharibu, the only 2018 abducted Dapchi schoolgirl remaining with the terrorist group is alive.
Bwala who is a lecturer spoke in a one minute 29 second video shared by independent journalist, Ahmad Salkida believed to have a deep inside knowledge about the group, on micro-blogging site, Twitter, on Saturday evening.
— Ahmad Salkida (@A_Salkida) December 14, 2019
According to Salkida, the captives are 13 in number and the video shows them identifying themselves in front of a camera.
He said they were abducted along Damaturu-Maiduguri highway just last November.
The captives, according him, comprise Nigerians, Muslims and Christians, who were ambushed as they commuted along theDamaturu-Maiduguri highway.
They include Bitrus Zakka Bwala, a principal lecturer with the College of Education, Gashua in Yobe State, Muktar Adam who works with the Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State.
Also among the captives is one female whose face, the group screened off in the video.
Salkida said the terrorist group claims the female captive was in the convoy of soldiers ambushed in Mainok, close to Maiduguri. She is attired in a patch of military fatigue but denies being a member of the military, said the group.
Bwala appealed to the Muhammadu Buhari led Nigerian government and the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN) to come to their rescue.
“I was on my way to my station when I was abducted. I appeal to the Federal Government, as you can see here (there are various Christians among those) abducted at various points. When we came we saw some workers here particularly the ones with the Action Against Hunger before they were executed.”
“We equally appeal to our various governors to come to our aid and rescue us. The leadership of Christian organizations, we appeal to you to liaise with the Federal government and push for the rescue of all captives here.”
Speaking on Leah Sharibu, Bwala said, “We saw that government has not done enough and that is why Leah Sharibu is still here. We therefore appeal in particular to President Muhammadu Buhari to do whatever is within his reach to rescue us.”
An abducted aid worker with Action against Hunger, Grace Taku had on July 25 claimed that Sharibu had been killed by the group because the government failed to deliver on it promises after negotiation.
But the Presidency on August 31 in a press statement by Garba Shehu, president Buhari’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, dismissed the speculation that Sharibu was dead.
Sharibu, a student of Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School, Dapchi, was kidnapped alongside 110 schoolgirls by a faction of Boko Haram terrorists in February 2018.
While all the other girls were released after negotiations with the Federal gGovernment, Sharibu was not released allegedly for refusing to denounce her Christian faith.