ABUJA—Father of Leah Sharibu, the schoolgirl held by Boko Haram, yesterday reacted to the donation made by the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who gave out part of his severance allowance to the girl’s family.
Nathan Sharibu, a civil servant, spoke in a telephone interview with Premium Times where he confirmed reading the news about Saraki’s charity, online.
The grieving father commended Saraki for having the issue of their abducted daughter in mind, despite the end of his tenure as Senate President.
In a statement issued to the media on Sunday, the former Senate President instructed the National Assembly management to distribute all of his severance allowances to the families of some victims of the Boko Haram who lost their loved ones, including the Sharibus’, whose daughter, Leah, is still in captivity.
Miss Leah was the only schoolgirl held back by Boko Haram after the insurgents had returned the 110 abducted female students of Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, in 2018.
She was held back because she reportedly refused to denounce her Christian Faith.
Mr Saraki had instructed that 20 per cent of what is due to him as severance allowance be given to Leah Sharibu’s parents.
He had also instructed that “20 per cent is also to be paid to the family of Hauwa Liman, one of the two aid worker brutally murdered by Boko Haram after she was captured in Rann, the headquarters of KalaBalge local government of Borno state.
“Another 20 per cent is to be donated to the family of the second aid worker, Hussain Ahmed Khoisan, also murdered in the same circumstance, by Boko Haram.
According to him, the remaining 40 per cent should be used by the National Assembly management to set up a Trust Fund that would assist children of deceased members of the eight Senate who are in financial need for their education.
Reacting to this, Mr Sharibu said “we read it on the internet last night and we were struck with mix feelings.”
“Each time we hear the name of our daughter mentioned in the media, our expectation is to hear the good news of her release. But, yesterday, we heard what the Senate President said should be extended to Leah’s family.
“We thank him, not necessarily because he is giving out money; no. But for the fact that he still has our daughter in mind; and that gives us a lot of hope that Nigeria has not forgotten her.
“Money is good, but what can be compared to having our dear daughter back in our arms? That means a lot to us.”