Exclusive- Al-Mustapha, others move to rescue Leah Shuaibu, Chibok girls from Boko Haram

Former chief security officer to the late head of state, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha (rtd), may have begun moves to secure the release of Leah Sharibu and the remaining Chibok school girls from the captivity of the Boko Haram insurgents.

Blueprint correspondent learnt on Sunday that Al-Mustapha has rallied some serving and retired military officers, and had already been making some overtures to the insurgents concerning Leah Shuaibu and the other Chibok girls still being held by the Boko Haram.

Boko Haram fighters stormed the Government Secondary School Chibok in Borno state five years ago to abduct over 200 female students of the school, the insurgents also invaded another school in Dapchi, Yobe state, about two years ago, taking away Leah Shuaibu and over a hundred of her mates. 

Till now the whereabout of about a hundred of the Chibok school girls cannot yet be ascertained, the insurgents released all the other girls abducted from Dapchi but withheld Shuaibu for failing to renounce her Christian faith.

The current efforts by Al-Mustapha, Blueprint learnt, followed a recent call by the umbrella body of some pro-Buhari groups, Buhari Integrity Support Group (BIG) and Standing Up for Integrity (SUFI) on the President to consider bringing on board his administration Major Hamza Al-Mustapha (rtd) and other retired military officers in order to boost his government’s current fight against insurgency and insecurity in some parts of the country. 

A source, which pleaded anonymity,  told our correspondent that Al-Mustapha and his colleagues were already making some “headway” in getting Shuaibu and the other Chibok girls, abducted about five years ago, to be set free by Boko Haram soon. 

The source, however, declined to reveal the identity of the others with whom Al-Mustapha had been working with to secure the release of the abducted girls. 

The pro-Muhammadu Buhari groups had noted during their meeting in Abuja last Thursday that making the likes of Al-Mustapha and other retired and serving military officers part of the country’s security architecture in the next dispensation would enable the Buhari administration to come up with new ideas aimed at addressing the various security challenges and even assist the government in securing the release of Shuaibu and the remaining Chibok school girls from the hold of Boko Haram. 

The National Coordinator of the BIG, Sampson Anyebe, who spoke on behalf of the other members of the groups at a news conference in Abuja, had argued that Nigeria did not lack capable persons and experts who had what would be required to stop the country’s descent into anarchy and chaos. 

Anyebe had also noted that the country and the government only needed to give such capable Nigerians the opportunity to offer their services and expertise to the nation in the best way and capacity they could. 

The groups had further expressed confidence that Al-Mustapha and other retired military officers had the relevant experience and the capability to assist the country in effectively tackling the current insecurity and bringing the unfortunate development to an end. 

The groups had also claimed that Al-Mustapha was instrumental to the release of the Islamic clerics and prayer warriors, who were abducted recently, but released few days later without the payment of any ransom. 

When contacted by our correspondent, the BIG national coordinator, confirmed that Al-Mustapha had begun efforts to rescue the girls from the Boko Haram. 
The BIG national coordinator said, “Yes, since we made that call we’ve discovered that Al-Mustapha himself had been making serious efforts, in collaboration with some other people, to secure the girls’ release. 

“I’m sure that the family and relations of Leah Shuaibu and the other Chibok school girls will soon have all the cause to laugh and rejoice.” 

Efforts to speak with Al-Mustapha on the matter, however, proved abortive. 

He neither picked calls made to his phone nor replied text messages sent to him.

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