AN anti-terror group, the Coalition Against Terrorism (CATE), on Monday urged the United Nations (UN) as well as the United States government to assist in the rescue of Leah Sharibu, the remaining Dapchi schoolgirl abducted by the dreaded Boko Haram.
CATE made this call in a statement made available to journalists in Lagos in reaction to the N100billion demand made by the terror group before it could release the Christian school girl, Leah Sharibu.
According to CATE, the demand, if proven true, is a confirmation that Boko Haram is materially deprived and desperately looking for an opportunity to raise operational cash by pawning its hostage to the highest bidder.
In the statement signed by its national coordinator, Gabriel Onoja, the group explained that the situation places Nigeria’s decision makers in a quandary as they must make choices between safeguarding the wellbeing of Leah and preventing Boko Haram from accessing resources that places the entire 194 million Nigerian citizens of at risk.
Onoja, therefore, urged the international community to put pressure on the Nigerian authorities to not succumb to Boko Haram’s demand, stressing that a financially vulnerable Boko Haram was a weakened target for a coalition of the willing to effectively take out once and for all.
Besides, CATE national coordinator said it was also an appropriate time the Nigerian state could use all the help it can get to stamp out the insurgency, now that it had been weakened.
“We, therefore, call on the United States’ government to intervene and demand the unconditional release of Leah and other hostages being held by Boko Haram without any further delay. There should be a way for the United States to identify, isolate and sanction those that have continued to promote the violence through their tacit support of Boko Haram.
“The imperative right now is for the United States to act to save the rights of women and children all over the world. It would have failed in this mission if Leah’s has to be bought like a common commodity from the terrorists that are holding her against her will.
“Should any entity pay up the amount that the terrorists are asking for then no girl child in the region will be safe again as the terrorists will embark on an orgy of abduction each time they are in need of money to finance their evil operations.
“A decision on whether or not to pay the ransom demanded by these terrorists must, therefore, be assessed from the viewpoint of the long-term impact of acceding to the demands of the terrorists,” Onoja said.