It is another sad moment for the parents of Leah Sharibu, as she marks another birthday in the custody of Boko Haram.
Leah, an abducted Dabchi schoolgirl, was held back by Boko Haram splinter group – Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.
On February 19, 2018, at about 5:30 p.m. local time, the peace of the students of Government Girls’ Science and Technical College (GGSTC) was scuttled and everything has not remained the same since then.
She is one person that will always remain in the minds of her classmates, Dapchi parents and even the government of Yobe State.
Not less than 110 schoolgirls were taken along with Leah Sharibu, but after negotiations resulted in the release of 104 of them, Leah was held back by the group who said she would be their slave for life.
Five of the girls were said to have dead.
May 14 is Leah Sharibu’s birthday and despite her absence, her family and loved ones are celebrating her.
He name became a trend on Twitter on Tuesday, as Nigerians join the celebration, with a demand for her release picking up again.
One person that has pushed for the released of abducted schoolgirls in the heat of Boko Haram activities in the northeast is Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, and she is again highlighting how her abduction had deprived her of education.
She went to school but her desk is still empty. #SheIsSixteenToday.
— Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) May 14, 2019
The government has said that it will do everything possible to get Leah Sharibu out of Boko Haram’s captivity, but the Presidency at some point also hinted that only God knows when Leah Sharibu would return.
The former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, a known critic of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, has joined in making demands for the rescue of the girl.
As Leah Sharibu marks her birthday in captivity today, I join other Nigerians and lovers of peace in the world to urge the FG Govt to ensure her release. God will sustain and her family members.
— Peter Ayodele Fayose (@GovAyoFayose) May 14, 2019
Leah had months ago, in a recorded voice message, pleaded with the government to rescue her.
It is not the first time that demands for her release is being pushed on social networks. Months ago, a former aide to former President Goddluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri staged a protest in the UK for her release.
He has written a book highlighting the pains and agony of the ‘forgotten girl’ and again he shared a post demanding her release.
Dear Leah Sharibu,
My friends, Senators @BenMurrayBruce and Ali Ndume, along with @OfficialBovi and award winning flutist, Tee Mac Omatsola, join me and members of the #RenosNuggets family to say #Happy16THBirthDayLeahSharibu
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) May 14, 2019
Another touching post
— Anne Addeh (@AddehAnne) May 14, 2019