The mother of Leah Sharibu who was one of the 110 Dapchi girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram, but who was not released because she refused to renounce her Christian faith, has said that she feels let down by the Federal Government.
The Mother, Rebecca Sharibu, pleaded with the Federal Government to do something, saying that the girl could not embrace a religion that isn’t known to her.
She also recounted how the other girls told her about how Leah was stopped at the last minute from regaining freedom because of her religion.
She said; “But my heart was broken on Wednesday morning when I searched through the released girls and could not set my eyes on my dear daughter, Leah,”
“What her school mates that returned told me was that my daughter (was told she) must recite the Kalima Shahada (the Islamic profession of faith in one God), and she does not know how to recite it.
“So they told her that if she didn’t know how to recite it, then she should come down from the vehicle. She had already boarded the vehicle alongside others that were ready to come home. So she was asked to go down and join some three other females that they said they met where they were kept.
“They said my daughter would only be brought back home the day she knows how to recite Kalima shahada.
“She insisted that she does not know how to recite and that she was not brought up as a Muslim. That was why she was held back. She was asked to go and stay with those three women who were also captives there
“She then pleaded with her friends that if they eventually made it home successfully, they should inform us, her parents, to continue to help her pray for God to protect her and bring her home safely as well, that whether she survived or not, she still need prayers.
“My concern and question to the government is that since we were told that the negotiation was done for all the schoolgirls, why did government accept that only my daughter be left behind when others’ were freed and even brought home?
“So I am begging the federal government of Nigeria, if the negotiation was because they loved all the girls as their own, they should do everything to help release my own girl.
“To the Boko Haram members, I have nothing to say other than that they should have pity on my only daughter and release her. It was not her fault that she is a Christian, I know that in this world, everyone choose the path of faith he or she has chosen in worshipping God. There is no way one could be forced to do what he or she does not know. It is not possible.”
Her father had this to say; “Nigeria must do all within its powers to bring back my daughter, the same way they did to others. I really thank and appreciate the people of Dapchi community, especially how they rallied round us at this time of great sorrow.
“I am from Hong in Adamawa State, I got married here in Dapchi and all my children were born here,” he said.