Leah Sharibu (Dapchi schoolgirl) : turns 15 in Boko Haram captivity

By The Nigerian Voice

Leah is the last girl kidnapped from Dapchi that has not been released by Boko Haram.

On the night of February 19, 2018, 14-year-old Leah Sharibu was kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists from her school, Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School in Dapchi, Bursari local government area of Yobe state.

111 other girls and another schoolboy had also been kidnapped that same night and hauled away to an unknown location while the nation was struck with disbelief, again .

The events that have unfolded since that unfortunate abduction have not been particularly kind to Leah and her family.

The government had reached a decision immediately after the abduction to negotiate with Boko Haram for the return of the victims.

One month later, that decision yielded results as the terrorist group drove the abducted students back into the heart of Dapchi on March 21, 2018, as agreed with the federal government.

The sight was unbelievable as terrorists entered the town in triumph and had the temerity to threaten parents against sending their daughters to school .

Despite the jubilant mood in Dapchi when the girls returned, every parent wasn't jumping for joy as only 107 of the 113 kidnapped had been returned.

News soon filtered out that five of the girls that were taken had died of heart attack and stress as a result of the long trip, and buried in the bush .

While this put a dampener on things in Dapchi, the most striking development was that of Sharibu.

The first reliable account of Sharibu's fate was from her schoolmate, Khadija Grema, who reported that Boko Haram decided to continue to hold her because she refused to renounce her Christian faith .

"There's one of the girls that wasn't freed because she is a Christian, she was held back," she said.

Leah's father, Nathan Sharibu, a police officer, later confirmed this story, expressing his happiness that she did not do the bidding of the terrorists and renounce her faith.

The story of what had happened to Sharibu understandably threw her family into disarray.

Leah Sharibu's mother, Rebecca, has been inconsolable since she was told her daughter remains with Boko Haram terrorists after refusing to convert from Christianity

(Youtube/Channels Television)

Her mother, Rebecca, was inconsolable and in a deep state of mourning while other parents celebrated the return of their children in March.

Her sister was also reported to have fainted after hearing the news that her sister was not among those that were released.

Leah Sharibu's sister fainted when she discovered she was still with Boko Haram terrorists for refusing to convert from Christianity

(Youtube/Channels Television)

Since news broke about why Leah was not released by Boko Haram, it has generated a lot of attention from Nigerians especially Christian institutions who consider it as an attack on the faith.

With relentless pressure from advocacy groups, the President Muhammadu Buhari -led government has been forced to make several promises about Leah's safe return, but this has not yielded any tangible results.

Leah is now 15 years old today, Monday, May 14, 2018, surrounded by strangers who are willing to cause her emotional and physical harm.

In an exclusive brief interview her father told Pulse Nigeria today about how the family has been in a confused state since the abduction with no word from the government.

He said, "We are just sad. We are even confused in the family right now. I have not heard anything from the government concerning my daughter. I'm pleading with the government to do their duty."

Despite the public pressure and all the promises, Leah Sharibu turns 15 today and she's still not back home to the warm embrace of her family.