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We’ve not forgotten Leah Sharibu, Osinbajo tells Pence

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the Muhammadu Buhari administration has not forgotten Leah Sharibu, a schoolgirl still in the captivity of the dreaded Boko Haram.

He also said the government would continue to negotiate for her release and other captives of the sect.

Mr Osinbajo reportedly said this at a meeting he had with his American counterpart, Mike Pence, at the White House, Washington, D.C.

Ms Sharibu was one of the schoolgirls captured by the insurgents, alongside 111 other girls and a schoolboy, on February 19, 2018, in Bursari Local Government Area of Yobe State. She was reportedly aged 14 at the time she was abducted.

After weeks of negotiations between the government and the terrorists, they released 106 students on March 21, 2018.

Five of the remaining six girls were reported to have died while being taken to the sect’s hideout.

The terrorists reportedly refused to release Ms Sharibu because she refused to renounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam.

Global calls for her release have intensified in recent months.

On government’s efforts to secure the release of Ms Sharibu, Mr Osinbajo expressed the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to continue to negotiate for her release and that of the remaining abducted Chibok girls.

“Over 100 of the Chibok girls that were abducted even before President Buhari came into government have been released under the Buhari administration.

“Most of the Chibok girls, 90 per cent of them were also Christians,’’ Mr Osinbajo said.

Mr Pence, on his part, appreciated the efforts of the Nigerian government and offered US’s support in ensuring the release of others still abducted.

“I appreciate the perspective on Leah Sharibu; I am aware of the sensitive nature of her plight,” Mr Pence said.

He also noted that most of the girls that were released in the Chibok abduction were Christians.

NAN reports that Mr Osinbajo recalled how Mr Buhari was attacked by Boko Haram terrorists in 2014.

He said it was the firm and often publicly stated view of the president that anyone who killed an innocent person and then said “God is great” was either insane or simply did not understand what he was saying.

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