By Our Reporter
The Christian community in Nigeria is today counting one year after the abduction of Leah Sharibu, the Dapchi Christian girl, by a faction of the Boko-Haram Islamic sect from the Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi, Yobe State.
Leah, 15, was abducted along with other girls on Feb. 19, 2018, by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) who, a month later, released 104 of the girls but held her back because she refused to denounce Christianity as her faith.
Newsmen who contacted Leah’s father, Mr. Nathaniel Sharibu, reported him as saying that it is only in dreams that he interacts with his daughter.
He was quoted as expressing extreme pain at the fact that his daughter was still in captivity despite promises by the Federal government to secure her release.
“They are just promising, promising, promising, promising, but nothing I see on ground. I am even confused now. All the family is in confusion now”, he said.
He added: “Almost every night, I see Leah in my dream. I saw Leah coming to me, saying ‘daddy, how are you?’ As we used to joke with her. Unfortunately, when I woke up, I see no Leah”.
Her mother, Rebecca, appealed to the FG to keep to its promise to rescue her daughter.
ISWAP had said that Leah would remain in their captivity as a slave, based on their doctrine that says it is now lawful for them to do whatever they want to do with her.
Mr. Sharibu, who recalled how sad he was when the abduction happen, expressed hope that his daughter was still alive since he was yet to receive news of her death.
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had, last year, called his wife to assure them of Leah’s release and had sent a delegation of three ministers to visit them last October.
“From there, I did not hear anything from them, and I did not see any action from them. They are just doing their politics”, he lamented.
Open Doors’ head of advocacy, zoe smith, said: Leah Sharibu was kidnapped because she was a girl and held captive because she was a Christian she personifies the incredibly vulnerable position of Christian women in northern Nigeria. It is saddening and outrageous that Leah remains in captivity, abused as a PR tool and negotiating pawn by Boko-Haram. We urge the Nigerian government and the international community to increase their efforts to secure her release and reunite her safely with her family.”
Nigeria is number 12 on the 2019 world Watch List, Open Doors’ animal ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution.