The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has confirmed the last known Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, who was held back by Boko Haram, is expected to be released today.
The IG made the confirmation at the headquarters of the Theatre command of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri as he concluded his two-day tour of the three states in the northeast.
“I am supposed to go to Dapchi today, but because I learnt that that schoolgirl, Leah, may be released today, that was why I have to shelve my trip to the town,” he said.
“It is very understandable that in such circumstance one does not create too much security presence in the area in a manner that it could sabotage the efforts being made there.
“You know, I move with helicopter, and by the time I fly into the area they (Boko Haram) may think I break the understanding they may have there. So I have to postpone the visit to Dapchi,” said the IGP.
Boko Haram kidnapped 110 Dapchi girls on February 19.
The group released 104 girls on Wednesday, and reportedly held Leah back for refusing to convert to Islam.
Five girls died during their abduction, her freed mates said.
Leah’s father, Sharibu Nathan, had earlier confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that he had received “the good news” that the girl and her abductors were on their way to Dapchi on Saturday.
The chairman of the abducted Dapchi Schoolgirls, Bashir Manzo, also confirmed that Leah was being brought back.
“We got the news that she was on her way,” he said.
“We are all waiting to receive them even as we pray God should bring them home safely.”
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that residents of Dapchi closed their business premises and remained indoors ahead the arrival of the Boko Haram gunmen bringing Leah.
Muhammed Musa, a trader in Dapchi, told PREMIUM TIMES “we have all been indoors since morning and no one has opened their shop because we can’t trust this Boko Haram people”.
Journalists who traveled to Dapchi to witness the rumoured return of Leah, had to leave as night fell, as they could no longer wait in the village during dark hours.