The mother of Leah Sharibu, Rebecca Sharibu has alleged that her daughter has not been rescued from Boko Haram captivity because she is a Christian.
Naija News reports Leah is one of the 110 Dapchi schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in February 2018 but while other girls have been released by their abductors, she is still with the insurgents three years after the incident.
On Friday, May 14, 2021, Leah will turn 18 years old and except anything changes before then, she would be celebrating her birthday in the den of her kidnappers.
Asked during an interview with Punch correspondent on why she believes her daughter is yet to be rescued by the government, Mrs Sharibu said it is because Leah has refused to denounce her Christian faith.
“I think the reason they have left my daughter in captivity is because she is a Christian. All the other girls that were taken were Muslims and they were all released. But my daughter is still in captivity, I believe, because of her faith. If not, why have they not yet released my daughter? What crime has she committed? She only refused to renounce her Christian faith,” she said.
Mrs Sharibu added that she and her family are awaiting the fulfilment of the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari on the rescue of their daughter.
“He (Buhari) has promised repeatedly; he comes out and says he is going to rescue Leah, but he has not fulfilled it. I don’t know or understand why he has not yet fulfilled his promise. Leah is still in captivity. I don’t know the problem or reasons that he is still leaving my daughter in captivity.
We are still waiting for him, as a family, to fulfill this promise that he made. The best thing to do when you make a promise is to fulfill that promise. That is the only acceptable thing. So, we are still waiting for him as a family.
She further revealed that when the incident first happened, it took about seven months before President Buhari called to speak to her.
She added that after that, a delegation including some Ministers visited them two weeks after the president caled then later, the Minister of women affairs also visited but all their visits have not yielded fruitful results as it all loks like media propaganda to make it appear as if they are doing something about the release of Leah.
In her words, “When my daughter was taken away in February 2018, I did not hear from the government; I did not hear from anybody until seven months after. It was then that a video was released of her in a hijab. Boko Haram had released a video to say they had killed one health worker and they said the next person to be killed would be Leah. So, the Leah Foundation organised a world press conference in Jos. We asked the world for help because the next person Boko Haram said they would kill was my daughter. We said we had not heard from the government or anybody as a family and that, as far as we were concerned, we were calling on the international community to plead with the Nigerian government to take action.
The night of the press conference, we got the attention of the government and the President called and spoke with me. That was the first time they (the Presidency) got in touch with us. After speaking to me, he (President) promised that he would do everything possible to bring Leah back.
Two weeks after, he sent three ministers led by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, to us. He came to Dapchi with two female ministers. When they came, they told me the President had sent them with a very large delegation and the media to say that very soon, Leah would be found. In fact, when they came that day, we thought Leah was coming back because we had just spoken with the President two weeks before. But they just came to register their presence with us as Leah’s parents. They took pictures and it was all over the media that the President sent ministers.
After that time, we never heard anything from anybody in the government until October 2020 when the Minister of Women Affairs (Paulen Tallen) came to Yola (Adamawa State) to pay us a courtesy visit. She told us that she had brought a message from the President, that the President was still working towards fulfilling the promise that he would rescue Leah. Since then, there has been no contact or communication.”
She also noted that insinuations that her daughter has been forcefully converted to Islam and already married to one of her abductors are all rumours which she won’t believe until she sets her eyes on her daughter.
“As far as I was concerned, it was just a video being circulated. I’ve only seen the video; I’ve not seen my daughter. I don’t know what was happening there.”
“All the things they are saying, whether that she is dead or that she is pregnant or has given birth to a second baby, as far as I am concerned, they are all rumours. I have not seen my daughter. I just want to see her. When I see my daughter, then I can confirm anything. But for now, I haven’t heard anything from my daughter and I don’t know where she is. Every day, we hear rumours.”
She however stated that she has not lost hope and believes she would see her daughter once again.
Meanwhile, the General Overseer of The Gospel Faith Mission International, Pastor Elijah Abuna, has lost his son, Emmanuel Folorunso, just as the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, lost his son, Pastor Dare Adeboye.
It gathered that the son of the cleric died on Wednesday, April 28, eight days before pastor Adeboye lost his son, but the press release was released last week.
Emmanuel reportedly died after a brief illness.