Leah Sharibu who was a victim of the Dapchi school girls abduction on the 19th day of February,2018, She will be 17 years old today the 14th May, 2020 ,as she was 14 years old when she was abducted Healthforbes Media reports.
Leah Sharibu’s parents-Mrs Rebecca and Mr Nathan have asked the Federal Government if their daughter will still spend her birthday in captivity as the smell of Leah’s birthday has brought back the memories of their beloved missing child.
Living with the fact that Leah is alive and with the heart breaking news they kept on hearing about their daughter, such as their daughter being forced into motherhood in captivity always keeps their heart shattered.
They expressed themselves in a statement signed by the Executive Director,Leah Sharibu Foundation,Dr.Gloria Puldu,they stated that, the only thing that has been keeping them going is hope,since hope is the only reassurance for the things not seen.
The statement added that;
“Born on May 14, 2003, Leah Sharibu the young Christian girl who refused to renounce her Christian faith has had her 15th and 16th birthday while in Boko Haram captivity, this is a reproachful memory. Will Leah spend another birthday in captivity? It is impossible for any parent to keep hearing different hurtful reports about their daughter and not become heartbroken. It is even more traumatic to hear that she has been forced into motherhood in captivity.
“May 14th, when she turns 17 years old. Is the President not able to negotiate with the terrorists? What is being done? The government have continued to assure Nigerians of the existence of a communication channel with the insurgents. So, if they are communicating as claimed, why is Leah still in the hands of her abductors?
“It is shameful and inexcusable that the Nigerian Government has not been able to ensure Leah’s release despite several failed promises by President Buhari. The latest of his unfulfilled promises was in a message he personally signed to mark the second anniversary of the abduction of the 110 Dapchi students which is also Leah’s second year in captivity, where he again promised the nation that his administration was committed to ensuring the release of all persons currently in the captivity of terrorists across the country and beyond.
“Remember, it took President Buhari eight months to finally speak to Leah’s parents and that was on a phone call on October 2nd. Buhari assured that he will do anything possible he can to ensure her release and that no effort would be spared to ensure her rescue. As Nigerians wait for the fulfillment of this commitment, Leah Sharibu and others have continued to suffer in the den of Boko Haram and on the 14th of May it will be 815 days still in captivity. What is President Buhari doing to release our Leah Sharibu? Buhari was able to secure the release of other 104 Dapchi victims, except Leah Sharibu. Why is he unable to release her? Is Buhari not putting his full effort to seeing to her release?”
It added, “Lest we also forget in April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped about 276 schoolgirls from their school in Chibok, about 170 miles northeast of Dapchi where Leah was abducted from her school. Some of the Chibok girls managed to escape on their own, while others were later rescued/freed after negotiations. But the fate of many of the girls still remains unknown.
An aid worker from Plateau State, Miss Jennifer Ukambong, that was released in January, 2020 after staying nearly one month in Boko Haram captivity, said Leah Sharibu lives somewhere close to Lake Chad.
“Ukambong also said Mrs Alice Ngaddah, Miss Grace Taku and Leah Sharibu who were abducted at various times by the terrorists were all doing very fine in the forest. Jennifer said she does not know the particular location but they say it is close to Lake Chad. Parents of Leah now join the Northern Christian Elders who have urged President Buhari to use Boko Haram’s weakness to rescue their daughter Leah Sharibu and others in captivity. We continue to plead with the President of Nigeria to take advantage of the pressure under which Boko Haram bandit is now, and secure the release of Leah Sharibu and others which are still in captivity.
“To the world, we wish to call on you to continue to stand in solidarity as international community to support
Leah’s Sharibu’s family and other people persecuted who are in any form captivity for the sake of their faith.
We must stand as one to bring about religious freedom just as we are united in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. No one should be devalued and discriminated against and even attacked for their faith. We should not allow this Coronavirus pandemic to hide the consequences.
“Unfortunately, Leah’s captivity is worsening by the day “Nigeria’s fault lines and political future” because at this moment is the face of the perceived conflict between religions in Nigeria by telling her to renounce her faith to be a free citizen. This is one of the reasons for the country to be made to be number twelve in the World Watch List for Religious Freedom by USCIRF.
While the parents are still hoping, the fact is Leah remains in captivity of Boko Haram.
Leah’s parents (and her brother, Donald) continue to seek for her immediate release and they are still pleading with President Buhari and the Government of Nigeria to free her from Boko Haram.
By DUNG DONALD MALOU
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