The federal government has pushed back against suggestions that it has abandoned Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi schoolgirl still in captivity out of the over 100 kidnapped by Boko Haram in February.
While five were said to have died in custody, the remaining were returned to Dapchi in March but the sect refused to release Sharibu because she reportedly refused to convert to Islam.
On Monday, marking her 15th birthday, her father appealed to the media to pressure the federal government to secure her release.
Speaking with state house correspondents on Wednesday, Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, said those involved in negotiating her release were doing so on a daily basis.
“I think Mr President actually addressed that issue in Washington and my position is always the same that we are yet to resolve the issue of six girls,” he said.
“A total of 111 girls were kidnapped, 105 were returned and we are busy on daily basis asking and negotiating and asking what happened to those five officially at least and then what is delaying the young girl, Leah Sharibu.
“Negotiations with insurgents are quite tortuous and complicated at times but I can assure you we are not leaving her to her fate and those who should are daily busy working on her release.”
Asked what was delaying the release since the insurgents freed the other girls in broad daylight, the minister said, “Anybody who negotiates with insurgents and terrorists in the world will know that is not a direct face to face negotiation like we are doing. Thank you.”
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