October 3, 2023

The whereabouts and condition of Leah Sharibu, one of the Dapchi schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents in 2018 in Yobe State, will be among the issues to be discussed at a prayer session to be organised by the Leah Foundation and Para-Mallam Peace Foundation Advocate for Social Justice in Abuja today.

Leah, now a mother, has spent five years in Boko Haram captivity.

Expectedly, her parents, Nathan, and Rebecca Sharibu, have continued their call on the Federal Government, led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to fulfill its promise and secure their daughter’s freedom.

They regretted that, with a week to the general elections, none of the presidential candidates had made a commitment on what to do to rescue her.

Among those expected at the prayer session to commemorate Leah’s fifth anniversary in Boko Haram’s captivity included her parents, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, who will deliver the keynote address; the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama; John Cardinal Onaiyekan and a representative of the Presidency.

Leah was one of the 110 female pupils of the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, who were abducted on February 19, 2018, by Boko Haram terrorists.

While others were released by the terrorists following negotiations, Leah, then 14 years old, is still being held captive because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.

The spokesperson of the traumatised parents and President of Leah Foundation, Dr Gloria Puldu, said, “We are inviting the Christian community in Abuja to join us to mark the day Leah Sharibu turns five years in the hands of ISWAP Boko Haram.

“We are also demanding that the presidential candidates should make clear promises about what they would do to secure the release of Leah Sharibu who represents all those in captivity in the hands of Boko Haram. They have not made a commitment to her freedom.

“We are expecting that we will collectively as a body of Christ petition heaven asking for the release of Leah as well as asking for a righteous leader to be voted into power who will not break promises he makes.

“Leah Sharibu will never be forgotten nor forsaken. We call on all Christian women in Abuja to join us in prayers and to speak out on behalf of our girls.”

Para-Mallam said the Nigerian government had not done enough to free Leah and other Christian girls and women who experience sexual abuse and slavery in the various camps of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

He said, “Most of these Christian girls and women, including a few Muslim girls, are held against their will. The international community needs to do more to free these girls and women. The trauma their parents and families go through is harrowing.”

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