Oladimeji Ramon

The senator representing Yobe East in the National Assembly, Bukar Ibrahim, has said “very serious negotiations” are ongoing to ensure the release of Leah Shabiru.

Leah is one of the schoolgirls abducted from Dapchi, Yobe State by Boko Haram insurgents on February 19.

The insurgents later returned all the girls (apart from five who died), but held onto Shabiru.

Leah was reportedly not released with others because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.

Speaking on the floor of the Senate on Thursday, Ibrahim said Shabiru would be released “not far from now.”

“I want to reassure the distinguished senators that very serious negotiations are going on and I believe not far from now, she would also be released,” he said.

Moving a motion earlier, the senator representing Taraba South, Emmanuel Bwacha, had urged the negotiating team to ensure the release of Leah and the remaining of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted in April 2014.

“I rise to raise personal appeal to the negotiating team of the executive that ensured the release of the Dapchi girls. I am doing this to appreciate them for their efforts to get a few of the Chibok girls and 98 per cent of the Dapchi girls released.

“I want to appeal that they should double their efforts so that Nigerians would have hope in the effort they are making to put confidence in the heart of Nigerians,” Bwacha said.

Meanwhile, the President of Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Mr. MalachyUgwummadu, and the Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Monday Ubani, on Thursday also called on the Federal Government to intensify efforts towards the release of Leah.

Speaking with our correspondent on Thursday, Ubani urged President Muhammadu Buhari to make good his pledge to ensure that the girl was released.

Ubani said, “I hope that the government has actually not forgotten that girl. We are advising that everything humanly possible should be done to ensure that that girl is released unconditionally and also on time, because the longer they keep that girl, there may be some consequences, like they may do things to kill her spirit, to make her renounce her faith.

“I have the belief that God will not allow any harm to come to her but government must show seriousness in ensuring her release.”

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