“If I could see her, I will tell her how much I welcome her decision and let her know that we are still praying for her and that one day she will be home. "
Friday, Leah Saharibu celebrated his eighteenth birthday in captivity. On February 19, 2018, she had been removed alongside 109 other schoolgirls from Dapchi by Islamist militants of ISWAP, faction of Boko Haram.
Priest Simon Okechukwu Ayogu sent her a message, hoping that she could hear that Christians around the world had not forgotten her. His appeal was relayed by the organization Aid to the Church in Need.
"Leah, it has been three years since you disappeared at the hands of Boko Haram elements at your school in Dapchi, Yobe State, northeast Nigeria… Leah, when you are 18 today" hui, we, like your parents who are currently tormented, look forward to the moment when you come home. "
A worldwide prayer event was organized by the organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide. A message from Rebecca Sharibu, Leah's mother, was shared there.
“We are really encouraged by the idea that, on her own, she could have made such a decision and respected it. She refused to convert. If I could see her, I will tell her how much I welcome her decision and let her know that we are still praying for her and that one day she will be home. "
CSW founder Mervyn Thomas reiterated his appeal to the Nigerian government:
“It is terrible to celebrate Leah Sharibu's birthday once again while she remains captive of dangerous terrorists who have yet to be defeated, disarmed and prosecuted for their crimes. We are always inspired by Leah's incredible faith and bravery in the face of such intense adversity. The Nigerian government must fulfill its constitutional obligation to ensure that every citizen is 'protected regardless of gender, culture and religious beliefs'. We therefore reiterate our call on the Nigerian authorities to do everything in their power to secure the immediate release of Ms. Sharibu, as well as those of Alice Ngaddah, Grace Taku, the remaining Chibok Girls and all other citizens detained by armed non-state actors. "
David Alton, a British member of the House of Lords, for his part paid tribute to his "strong faith", which he considers a source of inspiration. According to him, the authorities "did not do much".
“Every day of her captivity, Leah's right to believe was denied and the authorities did little to proclaim this basic right. "
He urges the British government to "encourage the Nigerian government to prioritize the release of all those detained by extremists and to tackle all sources of insecurity comprehensively and impartially with the perpetrators to make accounts and be brought to justice ”.
On the anniversary of this the eighteenth birthday of the abducted Nigerian school girl Leah Sharibu, her mother, Rebecca, says of the Nigerian Government “We are not happy because they have failed us.” see https://t.co/EfQoEXdz0H pic.twitter.com/vhB25yXbNZ
- Lord (David) Alton (@DavidAltonHL) May 14, 2021
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