Nigerians have thrown jabs and invectives at Malam Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, for describing Leah Shuaibu, abducted by Boko Haram in 2018 as an unfortunate Christian girl.
Leah was the only Christian girl among the Dapchi school girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram jihadists.
Boko Haram had kidnapped 110 girls and one boy from the girls’ school in Dapchi, a town in Northeast on February 19, 2018, and released most of them a month later, after what the government described as “back-channel” negotiations.
Three years on, Leah has not been freed while the government has yet to tell Nigerians and her parents if she is still alive.
In 2018, Leah could have been freed along with her schoolmates but refused to renounce her faith, according to her mother.
Persecondnews recalls that Leah had refused to renounce Christianity to accept Islam.
International outcry had greeted the inability of the Federal Government to negotiate her release after her colleagues had been “rescued”.
Shehu had in response to a Tweet by Reno Omokri, a former presidential aide to Goodluck Jonathan referred to Leah as “the unfortunate Christian girl stolen by Boko Haram”.
Reno had challenged Shehu who said president Buhari has made Nigeria safer, to visit one of the dreaded parts of Northern Nigeria and spend a night without security if he is confident that Buhari has made Nigeria safer.
Reno had tweeted: “Garba Shehu while rejecting the challenge said “If this is the money from the collections made in the name of Leah Sharibu, the unfortunate Christian girl stolen by Boko Haram, I won’t touch it with a long. Please keep “your USD20000”.
Shehu’s comment also drew flak from Nigerians as follows: “@jideybrain “The “ unfortunate Christian girl” stolen by boko haram .. power is not for ever .. just quote that .. there’s more to that sentence .. I come in peace ✌🏿”
@call_me_oma “I thought I was the only one offended by those statements, what kind of country did I find myself in bayi “Loudly crying face”
“@Uwayaisi “Unfortunate Christain girl stolen.” Make this make sense. She isn’t a property but a human that was kidnapped and forgotten by the Buhari-led government. Lastly, she isn’t an unfortunate Christian girl.”
@divaliciousjay “Look at how he foolishly gave himself away! Some of these people working with Buhari needs psychiatric evaluation! Let the reverse of this statement be made by a Christian, everywhere go burst!
@irebamisoyinka “@GarShehu the phrase “unfortunate Christian girl” is the height of your recklessness with words. You need to learn how to respond in a manner befitting of a father or grandfather (if truly you’re one). That statement is too heavy Mr. Aide. Is Leah’s capture now a political game?”
@obydike “@GarShehu everyone knows Leah Sharibu & the story of how Nigeria failed her. Tagging her as an unfortunate Christian girl was ill-advised & witless! You may deploy another subject for your deflective tactics. Mock not Leah Sharibu. Nigeria will yet happen to you. Na turn by turn!”
@Mr_CalebEli “Garba Shehu, Leah Sharibu is not the unfortunate Christian Girl, She was not stolen, she was kidnapped by Boko Haram. Your Principal failed to bring her back like he did to other girls that were kidnapped with her. Please face Reno & leave Leah out of this. Respect that name Leah”