From economy to corruption and insurgency, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Democracy Day speech addressed many of the usual suspects that have come to define presidential speeches on anniversaries such as Democracy day and Independence.
However, one glaring omission from Tuesday’s speech is a mention of the efforts by the current administration to ensure the freedom of Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi girl still in the custody of Boko Haram.
Buhari was also silent on the fate of more than 100 Chibok girls still in Boko Haram captivity — despite saying before 2015 election that the war against insurgency would not have been won until the abducted girls were freed.
On insurgency, Buhari had said: “Today, the capacity of the insurgents has been degraded leading to the re-establishment of authority of government and the release of captives including, happily, 106 Chibok and 104 Dapchi girls, and over 16,000 other persons held by the Boko Haram.”
But he made no mention of those still in captivity.
Sharibu was one of the 110 girls abducted by Boko Haram from Dapchi Government Science and Technical School, Yobe State, on February 21. The sect released 104 of the 110 girls abducted, with five already dead and Sharibu being held back for refusing to denounce her Christian faith.
After nearly 300 girls were abducted by Boko Haram from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, in 2014, 57 escaped in the early days of the abduction, and three more did much later, while the Buhari administration secured the release of 103 — meaning those left in captivity are still over 100.