Why Leah Sharibu And Others Are Still Being Held In Boko-Haram Hideouts As UNICEF Warns

By Elizabeth Chukwuma

 President Muhammadu Buhari  of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, has given  insight  why Leah Sharibu, who was  kidnapped from a Science  Secondary School, in Dapchi, Yobe state  and the remaining Chibok girls in Borno state, kidnapped by the Islamic Fundamentalist group, BokoKoHaram, have not been released by the militants despite repeated assurances.

This is because  the militants fear that they may be arrested by the Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF, and the Nigeria soldiers fighting alongside with them   to liberate  the north east after they had returned the girls to government  .  ”They worry  that  their safety could no longer  be  guaranteed   because of the heavy  military  presence  in the areas  where they had previously   occupied and moved about freely.

Garuba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity m is optimistic  that the Dapchi school girl will be reunited with her family members  as soon  as  conclusions    are reached on a number of  options  being considered for her safe transportation without compromising the country’s security.  She celebrated her 15th birthday at the  Boko Haram Camp last year  and in the next  one month  she will cock 16 years.  The United Nations  International  Children Emergency Fund, UNICEF, confirmed that Sharibu  could have regained her freedom long ago  but was denied by the hardliners  in the group because of refusal to be converted to Islam.

But security experts believe that   the  BokoHaram Insurgents turned kidnappers  may still  be holding on  to   the remaining  Chibok  girls and Sharibu, the only Dapchi  School girl s in their custody to force the  Nigerian President to with draw the soldiers from their   enclave in Borno state,

Mallick Fall: UNICEF Representative In Nigeria

Recall that Tukur Buratai, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff, CAS, has made it clear to those that care to listen thatthe the military  cannot jeorpadise  the security of the entire north  by halting their  operations to accommodate  BokoHaram Insurgent fears.

Although, it may  look as if Sharibu and the  remaining  193 Chibok girls may  not regain their freedom so soon because of the factionalisation in Boko Hram Camp, But  the Katsina born Nigerian President has vowed that  the  school children would be released to reunite with their family members  despite the  intensified  attacks on Cameroun ,Chad  and  Niger which had contributed soldiers and committed funds to support Nigeria  in the search for  a peaceful resolution of the  crisis in the north eastern part of the country.

   Buhari knew  he cannot that  he cannot afford to  fail and thus  has been in regular  contacts with the Heads of the various security Agencies including Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, acting Inspector General of Police, IGP  .  He is convinced based on the assurance from the security Chiefs that  the remaining Chibok ggirls and Sharibu including other Nigerians in captivity would be released soon. Going  President Donald Trump of the United  States of addressing Americans, he had tweeted had tweeted on Sunday, April 14, 2019: we will not rest until all the remaining Chibok girls  , Sharibu and other Nigerians in captivity   are back and reunited  with their families. ” I made this promise when I became President in 2015 and I will keep to it and never give up. He recalled that in that in last four years, the country’s security agencies  had successfully rescued  thousands of captives , noting that” they will not relent  until every captive is free”.

An elated Buhari declared, ” we celebrate  their courage and determination  to defy the evil ideology of the terrorists ”.

Only recently, he was in N’djamena, Capital of Chad  Republic, to participate  in the  Extraordinary session  of the Conference  of Heads of State and Government of  Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD). The meeting was said to have addressed the deteriorating security situation in the region, particularly the activities of BokoHaram. the UNICEF disclosed that between 2013 and 2017,  the Insurgents recruited more than 3,500 Children, most of when were aged 13 and 17  and were said to have been used in the ongoing armed conflict in the northeast. The Agency confirmed that since 2012, BokoHaram has used  Children as ”Combatants and Non-Combatants”.

In celebrating   the fifth anniversary  of the abduction of the school children,  the Agency said  100 of the abducted Chibok girls  are still missing and could not be located, fueling speculation that they may not be rescued for now. Malick Fall, the UNICEF  Representative in Nigeria  lamented that  in 2018 alone,  ”432 Children were killed and maimed,  180 abducted and 43 girls were  sexually abused   in the north east in 2018′.

It is not surprising why  he has called  on the parties to the armed conflicts in the region   to  fulfill their obligations  under  the international law to  end the violations  against Children  and to stop targeting  Children , infrastructure  , including schools . ”Children should feel safe at  home with their parents and in schools at all times instead of a military or terrorists Camp.

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