Leah Sharibu is one of the numbers of schoolgirls which was captured from the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, located in Bulabulin, Yunusari Local Government area of Yobe State on February 19, 2018. About 110 young girls aged within 11 to 19 years were taken from the boarding school.
One of the girls, Leah is acclaimed as a symbol of inspiration and hope to the Nigerian Christians. At the young age of 15, she endeared many with her firm grip to her religion. She reportedly refused to give up her Christian faith for Islam when her fellow captives easily did.
She, however, paid dearly for this exercise of perseverance.
On 21 March 2018, 104 of the girls were returned from captivity, and young Leah wasn’t among them. The Boko haram terrorists saw it necessary to continue her detention until she converts to Islam.
In an August 2018 released tape, Leah was seen pleading for her release. The Federal Government promised to get the young girl released in no distant time but claimed the tape was faked.
In October of that same year, Leah’s parents disclosed to the Federal Government that their daughter would be killed by the terrorists except she converted to Islam. As usual, the Federal Government promised the parent of her release.
In February 2019, rumours went in circulation about the death of Leah Sharibu in detention. The fact that some of the schoolgirls died while in detention added to the tension created by this news.
Most of the proponents of the rumour disclosed that an aid worker who was recently released at that time revealed she was actually dead. This was disbelieved by many on grounds that it lacked prove.
On Thursday, May 16, 2019, two days after Leah’s 16th birthday, over 5000 Muslims gathered to pray for her release. She has been in captivity for over 400 days, and some Christians in the country have called into question the continued detention of the Christian girl by the terrorist group.
They blamed the Nigerian government of untowardness towards her release, alleging how the girl would have easily been released if she was a Muslim.
Leah is now a Muslim mother
A new scene is added to the Sharibu story when several dailies reported that Leah is now a mother. Reports also added that she is now a Muslim haven been converted from her Christian faith.
Some media outlets had earlier reported that hadn’t it been for her pregnancy for a Boko Haram commander in Niger Republic, she would have been released months ago. This followed a report by a National daily stating how a journalist revealed the validity of the claims. The daily reports that the President of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (Church of the Brethren), Rev Joel Billi disclosed that a journalist who has access to Boko Haram, Ahmad Salkida, told him Leah had become a mother.
The cleric said he got the call from Salkida on the same day the journalist announced the execution of the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev Lawan Andimi, by Boko Haram.