The federal government says Leah Sharibu, a secondary school student kidnapped in Dapchi, Yobe state, by Boko Haram insurgents, is still alive.
Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, told journalists in Abuja on Saturday that the government is not giving up on negotiations for her release.
“Instead of giving up, the government is carrying forward processes that should hopefully yield her release by her captors,” NAN quoted Shehu to have said.
“Lines of communications remain open with the kidnappers, ISWAP, to secure the release of Leah Sharibu.
“Contrary to false reports, she is alive – given assurances from our security agencies-, and the government is committed to her safe return, as well as all other hostages to their families.
“Kidnapping for ransom should never be encouraged. This means not capitulating to the demands of terrorists: refrain from rewarding their heinous crimes with payment.
“With the abduction of loved family and friends, the government understands how difficult these times are for them, but the government is pursuing many options to ensure the safe return of Leah Sharibu.”
In July, Amuwo Parrot News (APN) obtained a video where aid workers kidnapped in Borno appealed to the federal government and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to negotiate her release.
In the video, a kidnapped aid worker identified as Grace said she did not want to share the same fate with previous victims (referencing Sharibu and Hauwa Liman) who were killed because no one came to their rescue.
Leah Sharibu, a student of Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School, Dapchi, was kidnapped by a faction of Boko Haram terrorists in February 2018.