VIDEO: Plea to Nigerian government to rescue Leah Sharibu, the only Christian of 119 girls captured by Boko Haram in February 2018 who is still in captivity.
Nathan Sharibu, father of Leah Sharibu, told Morning Star News by phone that no one from the government has called the Christian family since the abduction of his daughter in February, nor since the release of an audio recording by Leah last month.
“Unfortunately, since the abduction of our daughter, no government official in Nigeria has contacted us or even let us know the effort the government is making towards the release of my daughter,” he said. “However, Christians across the world have been supporting us and praying with us. It has not been easy bearing the pains of missing our daughter, but the Lord has been gracious through His unmerited grace to us.”
Because she refused to convert to Islam, Muslim extremists from Boko Haram declined to include the 15-year-old Christian girl among more than 100 kidnapped girls the terrorist group released in March. In an audio recording released by a local journalist on Aug. 27, Leah says in her native Hausa that she wants the Nigerian government and “people of goodwill” to rescue her.
She and the other girls were kidnapped on Feb. 19 from Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School, Dapchi, in northeast Nigeria’s Yobe state.
“When I heard Leah’s voice in that audio message and her photo as shown, I was highly elated, knowing that she was still alive,” Sharibu told Morning Star News.
He thanked all individuals and organizations, including his Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) congregation, who have stood with his family in their ordeal.
The Rev. Yunusa Nmadu Jr., ECWA general secretary, told Morning Star News that Boko Haram likely released the audio recording to bolster its chances of negotiating her release.
“I think that that recording was released to reassure the government of proof of life, because usually when you’re negotiating things like these, the other party would ask for proof of life,” Nmadu said. “So I’m suspecting that that recording and photo are proof of life.”
The Christian leader said the church has relentlessly pressed for her release.
“We have been trying as much as possible, working with other organizations in and outside the country, to raise the tempo of the campaign for her release,” Nmadu said. “One such organization is Christian Solidarity Worldwide [CSW], and the office in the U.K. marked the 200-days campaign, which was held in front of the office of the Nigerian High Commission in the U.K.”