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29 Mar 2018

I Have Lost Sleep Over My Daughter - Mother of Dapchi Girl, Leah Sharibu

President Buhari has been advised to step up efforts in recovering Leah Sharibu from the Boko Haram enclave as her family has remained in distress.
Leah Sharibu
Parents of the released Dapchi schoolgirls have called on the Federal Government to step up action and ensure the timely release of Leah Sharibu, the only girl still being held by Boko Haram days after the insurgents returned the abducted girls.

Also, Leah’s mother,  Mrs. Rebecca Sharibu,  in a telephone interview with a Punch correspondent said she had lost sleep since her daughter was abducted, adding that she almost developed a heart attack the day 107 girls were released,  but Leah was not among them.

“It’s not been easy but the grace of God is there for us. I cannot sleep since February 19 that they were abducted but I nearly had a heart attack the day the other girls were released and I discovered that my daughter was not released because she refused to renounce her faith. But that gives me some comfort,” she said.

On how she felt when she was told that Leah’s refusal to convert to Islam was the reason she is still being held by the insurgents, Rebecca said she was proud of Leah’s faith.

She said, “We gave Leah a sound Christian teaching which cannot just be swept away. She grew up in ECWA and she assimilated the teachings of the Church.  So, I have no problem with her refusal to convert. I am proud of her.”

While praying to God for the release of her daughter, Rebecca appealed to the security agents and President Muhammadu Buhari to help in the release of her daughter.

“Buhari should come to my aid and not abandon Leah. He should do everything possible to ensure her safe and timely release,” Rebecca added.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Dapchi Girls’ Parents Association,  Mallam Bukar Kachalla, told a Punch correspondent on the telephone that the parents had sent a strong message to President Buhari demanding Leah’s release.

According to him, the parents are not demanding monetary compensation for the abduction and release of their daughters,  but want the Federal Government to deploy the intelligence and negotiation it employed in the release of the other 107 girls and a boy for Leah’s release.

“If the Federal Government can facilitate the release of 107 of our girls, it will take them less energy to secure the release of Leah Sharibu.

“We condemn the religious colouration being painted in the issue of Leah. We are all united as parents and our association is still intact and our message is ‘bring back Leah to us.’

“This is not an issue of religion. We are all concerned that Leah is still being held by Boko Haram.  We are not concerned about religion here.  Our primary goal is the safe and timely release of Leah Sharibu,” he said.

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