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204 days: Rescue Leah now, lawyers tell FG



204 days: Rescue Leah now, lawyers tell FG

Human rights lawyers yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intensify efforts to rescue Leah Sharibu from Boko Haram’s captivity.

Today makes it 204 days that Leahu and 109 other girls were abducted by Boko Haram members from the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State.

The National President of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Mr. Malachy Ugwummadu, and the Executive Director of Access to Justice, Joseph Oteh, made the call yesterday.

Ugwummadu said Section 14 (2)(b) of the constitution imposed a responsibility on the Federal Government to ensure that the welfare and the security of every citizen of Nigeria is made the primary purpose of the government.

He said: “So in the light of that section, it sounds to reason that the inability of the government to rescue this innocent Nigerian girl already raises worrisome but pertinent questions regarding the safety of every Nigerian citizen. Also, the insurgents’ refusal to release her based on religious grounds casts shadows on the part of the government that has made several commitments and avow to her release.”

Ugwummadu added that it was heartrending to hear the same girl, from the den of her abductors, cry out to the government of Nigeria for help.

On his part, Oteh said the President ought to do more in ensuring the release of Leah and other remaining Chibok girls held in the den of Boko Haram.

He said: “We need answers not promises in this regard. It’s nearly seven months since Leah’s abduction, and more than four years since the Chibok girls were abducted. Now, time is running out for a government that came to power with a promise to overrun Boko Haram and rescue the captives in their lairs. No one can give any credible account of the Chibok girls, and Nigerians are frightened by informed assessments that many of them have been killed.”

“Where is the ‘thunder’ President Buhari promised? What we see now are whimpers! Where is the crushing of Boko Haram? Where is the freeing up of those held captive, in the power of Boko Haram? Where is Leah Sharibu?

“If Chibok was deplorable, Dapchi was a national disaster, facilitated by the sheer, mind-boggling ineptitude of our security system. Leah Sharibu’s life must not be wasted, must not be brutalised more than it has already.

“While we continue to pray for Leah, government must do everything to rescue Sharibu and the surviving Chibok girls. Government is not doing nearly enough! Until all those captured by Boko Haram are rescued or released, our government owes Nigerians, and the family of all those in Boko Haram’s captivity, a mortal debt it must discharge now not later.”

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