A 16-year-old girl was kidnapped from her school by dare devil terrorists. Two years on while waiting in vain to be rescued by her government she is forcefully converted to a religion that contradicts her faith and married off to the sect commander and has born the heir to a terrorist movement.
This is not a scene from a horror movie! This is not a dream from intense fever;this is the reality of Leah Sharibu, a young schoolgirl whose government has failed over and over.
On 21 March 2018 the Federal Government of Nigeria announced that Boko Haram terrorists had returned 106 of the kidnapped children, who were kidnapped on the 19th of February 2018, the nation was in shock when it realized that 5 others had not survived the ordeal and Leah Sharibu was held back because she refused to denounce her faith.
This was happening in a country that has another set of schoolgirls from Chibok still in Boko Haram captivity. #BringBackOurGirls became louder on the lips on every Nigerian and the international community but this did nothing to change the faith of Leah and others. Some were even accused of capitalizing and making money off the publicity that followed the abduction of the girls.
The Nigerian government through its minister for information, Lai Mohammed initially said the release of the other girls was unconditional until reports emerged days later that a huge sum had been paid as ransom.
What did the government do to ensure Leah’s Release?
A recent report suggests that after making a financial demand for Leah to be released, the terrorists withdrew when payment was offered.The terrorists had reportedly demanded millions in hard currency as ransom and made a complete u-turn after agreements had been concluded.
Leah’s abduction is one like no other as the young schoolgirl has been used by the terrorists to stir sentiments and‘fan religious embers causing devastating division in the country’.
The report also suggested that President Buhari was resolute in making sure that Leah and others be released. But under the watch of this same president, 1400 Boko Haram members were released back into the society after a tag ‘Repented’ was attached to their terrorist title.
All it took for a president of a country that has its children kidnapped, molested and worse still killed by Boko Haram terrorist on a daily basis to let go of some terrorists in the middle of an active battle is that they have ‘repented’?
Why won’t the leader of the terrorists, Abubakar Shekau publicly dare the commander in chief of Nigeria’s armed forces to return to the North East, promising to attack him (Buhari)?
Why won’t Shekau leave the negotiating table about Leah Sharibu taking her on as a ‘slave for life’ and give the Nigerian government conditions upon which it will release the remaining Chibok girls?
Why won’t the terrorists continue its obvious dominance over the government in a publicly disgraceful manner by releasing video and audio messages?
How has the Nigerian government known that Boko Haram has been located in the Sambisa forest for over a decade and the terrorists have almost cut off Borno state from the rest of Nigeria by attacking its only accessible route daily?
19th February 2020 makes it exactly 730 days, two years Leah Sharibu has been in Boko Haram custody with other schoolgirls there for over 5 years.
What do these young girls think about while in captivity? For how long will they continue to leave in fear and depression that they have been abandoned and forgotten by their government?
For how long will the parents of these abducted girls die and slip into depression forever waiting on the government? For how long will Leah’s father continue to believe that the federal government knows where his daughter is but is refusing to bring her home?
For how long will we watch our children get kidnapped and indoctrinated to turn against us?
For how long will this continue before it becomes the turn of you or your loved ones?
If we follow in your steps where you allowed your cries turn to shouts then to echoes and to whispers which have now become deafening silence,
Who will save you then?