Anger, emotions in Nigeria as Boko Haram Withholds, Leah, a Christian Dapchi girl
Boko Haram, captors of 110 Dapchi schoolgirls have released most of the girls, some reported death, while withholding one Leah Sharibu, a Christian girl who was said to have refused to renounce Christianity.
Nigerians on the social media are demanding the release of Leah, the way other girls were released, with a hashtag #freeleah, saying that the ransom and negotiations Nigerian government entered in was both Christians and Muslims.
The Nigerian government has said it “will not relent” in its efforts to free the last remaining schoolgirl but concerned Nigerians want her release immediately.
Most of the girls were released on Wednesday but one Leah, a Christian who refused to convert to Islam, is still being held.
The president said the girl will not be abandoned.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to the freedom of the only Dapchi schoolgirl still in captivity,” a statement said.
The Buhari administration will not relent in efforts to bring [her] safely back home to her parents. The lone Dapchi girl will not be abandoned.”
The government denies claims that Boko Haram was paid a ransom for the girls’ freedom, or that there was a prisoner swap.
Information Minister Lai Mohammad said that the girls’ return was part of ongoing talks about an amnesty in return for a ceasefire.
“We did not pay any ransom for the girls. We discussed with them the cessation of hostilities in return for possible amnesty,” he said.
“If they [Boko Haram] returned and lay down their arms and renounce their membership of the insurgency, then we will give them free passage and they can return to society,” Mr Mohammad said.
He added that the government was “taken aback” by the abduction because it was a breach of the talks.
Meanwhile, the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the federal government’s capturing and release of the girls was a mockery on the intelligence of Nigerian, calling it a poorly written script.