Senator representing Yobe east, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, has disclosed that “very serious negotiations” are ongoing to ensure the release of Leah Shabiru.

Shabiru is one of the girls abducted from Dapchi, Yobe State by Boko Haram insurgents on February 19.

Apart from five students who died in captivity, Boko Haram returned all the remaining abductees to Dapchi, except Sharibu.

She was reportedly not released with others because she refused to convert to Islam.

But, speaking on the floor of the senate yesterday, Ibrahim said Shabiru would be released “not far from now”.

“I want to reassure the distinguished Senators that very serious negotiations are ongoing and I believe not far from now, she will also be released, Insha Allah, alongside the remaining Chibok girls,” the Yobe senator said.

Moving a motion earlier, Emmanuel Bwacha, senator representing Taraba south, urged the negotiating team to ensure the release of Shabiru and the remaining Chibok girls.

“I rise to raise personal appeal to the negotiating team of the executive that ensured the release of the remaining Dapchi girls. I am doing this to appreciate them for their efforts and to appeal to them to ensure the release of  the remaining Chibok girls,” he said.

“I want to appeal that they should double their efforts to restore confidence in the heart of Nigerians.”

Meanwhile, churches across the country have been urged by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to use the occasion of Good Friday to pray for the release of Leah.

The call was made by the President of the association, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, through a statement issued by his special assistant on media and communications, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji.