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A question to President Buhari: Where will Leah Sharibu spend her Christmas? – Etakibuebu


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By Godwin Etakibuebu

We, all the people of Nigeria, having agreed to come together in one place; Dapchi town in Yunusari Local Government area of Yobe State to spend this year [2018]’s Christmas festivities, hereby resolutely demand to know from you, President Muhammadu Buhari, if our cherished daughter; Leah Sharibu, kidnapped from Dapchi on Monday February 19, 2018, will be joining us for this great celebration.

You are the only one that can give us an authentic, reliable and dependable answer to this question – we are therefore waiting to hear from you within the next few days as all of us are preparing for the journey to Dapchi. We so resolved.

No one should attempt in comparing this Resolution of all Nigerians in observing this year Christmas festival in Dapchi to the Nigerian’s 1999 Constitution fraudulent Preamble which started with “We, the people of Nigeria” whereas there was no time “the people of Nigeria” met to consider any constitution for the country except the meeting of less than “30 Military Boys, under General Abdulsalam Abubakar”, that foisted that most fraudulent document [still being paraded as our Constitution till date] on us. Let me explain the reason for this present resolution first before moving into other matters that might be arising.

We have a president [Muhammadu Buhari] who would always talk to us, Nigerians, only from outside Nigeria. We get to hear facts about his style of governance and what he intends doing for us or about us [Nigerians] only when he is in foreign land – albeit when he travels out to foreign countries. The only time Mr President would never discuss Nigeria and Nigerians whenever he travels out of this geographical piece of land called Nigeria is when he is on medical trip. It is for this reason that some Nigerians, these days, pray that he should travel out as that affords them, at least, to know his thoughts about us.

It is for this reason that his statement of Monday December 3, 2018, in faraway Poland becomes instructive to the fact of the plight and whereabouts of our beloved Leah Sharibu. According to a statement issued by President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Tuesday December 4, 2018, Buhari, while discussing with the Swiss President, Alain Berset, in Katowice, Poland, was quoted as saying: “We will continue to make the safe release of the remaining Chibok girls a priority and will welcome any kind of support from any quarters to make this happen.”

This was after thanking the Swiss President for the role his country played in the release of some Nigerian Chibok girls kidnapped sometime in 2014, under the government of President Goodluck Jonathan.

If the body movements of our president were to be properly studied and his lips exactly read, the interpretation of his latest speech in Poland did not have or seemed not to have Leah Sharibu in his thinking, at least, not at this very crucial period of pre 2019 general election’s maneuvering.

That automatically instigates one inevitable question in the mind of the Nigerian people.

Why would President Buhari concentrate on the release of the remaining Chibok girls – girls kidnapped in 2014 [I am not inferring that bringing those girls home is wrong please]; girls kidnapped during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan [which Buhari and his government have adequately and continually blamed the latter for] to the detriment of Leah Sharibu, kidnapped under his watch as result of some security lapses [lapses that looked like conspiracy of government’s security apparatus in the commitment of the felon, albeit the kidnap]?

This is not say, by any imagination, that President Buhari has no human feeling for the misfortune of Nigerians, Leah Sharibu and her family inclusive – far from such conclusion. And l have my reasons to know for sure that the man {Buhari] has human feeling just like any other man like him.

He told them in Poland [or is it us he talked to?] that he was not cloned, that he was the same Buhari who went to London for treatment and not any Jubril from Sudan or Mali. He added this angle of him filled with human emotions and kindness when he spoke of his incoming 76 birthday [which he promised to celebrate elaborately – hoping he will be graciously enough to invite me and my Publisher – Mideno Bayagbon] before he capped it with the numerous increase of his grandchildren.

We have all seen this man – Buhari – crying before, immediately after the 2011 general election when he failed to emerge as president; a position he contested for, under the Congress for Progressive Change [CPC] as Goodluck Jonathan of the People Democratic Party [PDP] thwarted his ambition.

So, it might be safe to conclude that in spite of some actions of the man that lacked human feeling, he is soft enough not to have forgotten Leah Sharibu in hurry. In addition, given the soft side of him we have just narrated, it may be wrong, ipso facto, to conclude that he deliberately traded Leah Sharibu on the “slaughtering abattoir of religion”, more so as it has been revealed that the girl [Leah] was “stepped down from those released by the captors for refusing to repudiate her Christian faith”.

Yet, l have more other cogent reasons to believe that what happened in Poland when the President spoke of his attachment to the Chibok girls than Dapchi’s Leah Sharibu was more an error of the head than the heart.

On Wednesday October 3, 2018, President Buhari called and spoke with the mother of Leah, Mrs Rebecca Sharibu and he expressed his concern about the plight of the family in waiting for their daughter’s return from captivity.

“I convey my emotion, the strong commitment of my administration and the solidarity of all Nigerians to you and your family as we will do our best to bring your daughter home in peace and safely,” he softly told the girl’s mother during the telephone conversation.

His voice, during the telephone discussion with Mrs Rebecca Sharibu, was “emotionally-parked”, according to those who read the sciences of interpreting human being’s voices [fortunately, l am not one of them].

These scientific professionals have equally claimed that the emotional voice of the President on the day he spoke to Leah’s mother was again replicated the very day he visited his own son, Yusuf, at the Cedar Crest Hospital in Gudu District of Abuja, immediately after the auto Bike crash accident that almost claimed his [the son] life on December 26, 2017.

Seeing his son that close to death probably must have reminded him of Leah Sharibu who had remained in the shackles of death since February this year or, if we are to put it in reversal format, the captivity of Leah came more alive in his heart immediately he heard of his son’s colossal accident – that must have be the reason for the same emotional voice-show at those two different times [according to the professional voice interpreters anyway].

Unfortunately however, we are not privileged to know his countenances on the day Leah Sharibu made that famous [or is it infamous?] broadcast in Hausa language – a speech that lasted for only 30 seconds. Clad in hijab, sewn from a light brown material and seated alone on a mat patterned in pink, Sharibu speaking with measured calmness though has this to relate.
“I am Leah Sharibu, the girl that was abducted in GGSS Dapchi. I am calling on the government and people of goodwill to intervene to get me out of my current situation. I also plead to the members of the public to help my mother, my father, my younger brother and relatives. Kindly help me out of my predicament. I am begging you to treat me with compassion, I am calling on the government, particularly, the president to pity me and get me out of this serious situation. Thank you.”
The whole world caught cold when her voice vibrated over networks.

How the President felt on hearing the voice of the girl from captivity was not known because his media men; the likes of Shehu Garba and Femi Adesina, did not show us any video of him listening to the broadcast, I can only guess that most Nigerians may have accepted that the President, at that moment, was overwhelmed by human emotion. It was an expectation that put the President on the spotlight again as all expected him to take some drastic action in bringing out this girl out of captivity. Much water has passed under the bridge since that broadcast and yet, Leah Sharibu remains in captivity.

After this phase of her plight came the threat from the ISIS’ faction of Boko Haram to execute this poor innocent girl. The mother; Mrs Rebecca Sharibu, was again, on September 28, 2018, put on the sadden theatre of operation when she once again made another passionate appeal to the Federal Government to help rescue her daughter before the deadline of October date of executing her as promised by Boko Haram.

Speaking in Hausa and interpreted in English by one Dr. Gloria Samdi Pudlu, Mrs. Sharibu appreciated the concern shown by the entire world over their plight, and urged the Federal Government, President Buhari, Vice President Osinbajo and Secretary to the Government of the federation to do everything possible to ensure Leah is released before the deadline. She said: “A threat has been sent out that with effect from October, Leah will be the next in line to be killed. They said she pleaded with Federal Government to do whatever is required to ensure her release before that time.”

Thank God that the poor girl has not been executed by her captors but the same captors had announced that they will “keep Leah Sharibu as slaves for life”. What this means, in the interpretation of one international Islamic Scholar [name withheld] is that “they are likely going to keep them permanently.

They are saying that they will no longer accept any ransom or rewards for them, but will likely use them for work, force them to convert to Islam, and probably rape and beat them and eventually, they will probably sell them to a rich Muslim man, who will force them to marry and own them”, concluding that “these are all things that Boko Haram is well known for doing to young women”.

It is in the face of these narratives that we, the people of Nigeria, having resolved to do our Christmas in Dapchi, have decided to ask you this pertinent question: Where will Leah Sharibu spend her Christmas? Is it at home, in Dapchi, with us or in Boko Haram’s forest of slavery?
Don’t forget, Mr President, to take judicial note of the fact that it is Leah Sharibu’s Christian faith that is deciding her future and place of occupation at these times. And the ball is in your court please!

Godwin Etakibuebu; a veteran Journalist, wrote from Lagos.
Mobile: +234-906-887-0014
Twitter: @godwin_buebu
You can listen to this author [Godwin Etakibuebu] every Monday, 9:30-11am, on Lagos Talk 91.3 FM live, in a weekly review of topical issues, presented by The News Guru [TNG].

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