March 26, 2018

Confusion as Dapchi residents await arrival of Leah Sharibu

Leah Sharibu

Leah Sharibu

Police backtrack on her release, say IGP was misunderstood
Freed schoolgirls return home, reunite with parents

There is confusion in Dapchi, headquarters of Busari Local Government Area in Yobe State, over the return of Leah Sharibu, the only Christian girl still in captivity of Boko Haram.

Boko Haram had last Wednesday released 104 of the 110 students of Government Girls Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, abducted on February 19.

While five of the students died, Boko Haram insurgents returned 104 to the town on Wednesday but the insurgents did not release Sharibu because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.

Leah Sharibu

The Inspector General of Poice, Ibrahim Idris, had confirmed, weekend, that the girl was on her way back.

Idris spoke when he visited Rogers Nicholas, Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.

However, more than 18 hours after, Sharibu has not made it back to Dapchi.

Muniru Daniru, a resident, said: ““We heard at night that they were on their way and by morning, the girls had been returned. But almost 24 hours after we heard that they were bringing Leah Sharibu, we have not seen her.”

Another resident added: “The level of suspense is high. People are really scared. We do not even know what to do or how to handle this situation. We really can’t wait for this situation to be over.”

A source said the insurgents took the girl to a neighbouring village, from where the military is expected to bring her back to the town she was kidnapped from.

Many residents were also said to have fled the town on Saturday after they heard that Boko Haram was returning with Sharibu.

The military reportedly went round to calm the people, assuring them of their safety.

IGP was misunderstood


Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, recanted, yesterday, saying he never said Leah Sharibu would be released soon.

In a statement in Abuja, force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, denied having any information about Sharibu’s release, saying the IG was misunderstood.

It said: “The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to the publication on some social media platforms and conventional media indicating that the Inspector-General of Police said the last Dapchi schoolgirl will be released soon.

“The statement of the IGP was misunderstood and misquoted. The misunderstanding may be as a result of the already released Dapchi schoolgirls expected back home in Yobe State today (yesterday) but could not arrive due to weather condition.

“The IGP could not also proceed to Dapchi because of same weather condition.  The Force wishes members of the public and the media to disregard the purported statement as not what the IGP meant. The Force, therefore, reiterates that it has no information yet on the release of the last Dapchi schoolgirl.”

Freed schoolgirls return home, reunite with parents

Meanwhile, the 105 Dapchi schoolgirls, who recently regained their freedom, have been reunited with their parents.

The girls were transported via a military airplane, yesterday morning, to Damaturu, from where they travelled to Dapchi.

They were handed over to their parents at the assembly hall of Government Secondary School, Dapchi, in Bursari Local Government Area of Yobe State.