Leah Sharibu: Parents confirm voice

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The parents of Leah Sharibu, the only Christian girl still being held captive by Boko Haram insurgents among those abducted at the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, have confirmed the voice in an audio message as their daughter’s.
Leah’s audio message was published yesterday by “The Cable” online news platform with her recent picture in which she is wearing a brown hijab and sitting on a mat.
In the picture, Leah wears a look of defiance. In the message, she pleads for her release.
The audio is translated thus: “I am Leah Sharibu, the girl that was abducted in GGSS Dapchi. I am calling on the government and people of goodwill to intervene to get me out of my current situation.
“I also plead to the members of the public to help my mother, my father, my younger brother and relatives. Kindly help me out of my predicament. I am begging you to treat me with compassion. I am calling on the government, particularly the President, to pity me and get me out of this serious situation. Thank you.”
Our reporter called the parents of Leah to confirm the veracity of the voice and both were in agreement that it is their daughter’s.
Mr. Nathan Sheribu and his wife Rebecca told our correspondent on phone that their hope had been re-ignited after hearing their daughter’s voice and seeing her picture.
“I can confirm to you that the voice that spoke is that of my daughter Leah. It is her voice, no doubt. I am happy that I can hear my daughter speak. This has given me hope that she is alive. I am also happy to see her recent picture displayed.
“My request is the same with my daughter’s. The government should play their part now by intensifying efforts to secure her freedom.,” Sharibu said.
The mother’s hope never died, though it has now doubled. She will however become happier the day her daughter is freed.
Like her husband, Mrs Sharibu also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to swing into action to free her daughter.
She also called on her daughter’s captors to unconditionally release her to save her from the trauma she is going through.
Leah, along with her school mates, were abducted in February from their school. Her mates were released after one month but Leah was held back by the insurgents for the reason that she refused to renounce Christianity, her faith.
In the last seven months, there have been doubts as to whether she was still alive as well as whether she was still holding on to her Christian faith.
More than a month ago, the Excutive Director of Complete Care Foundation, Aisha Wakil, who is popularly known as Mama Boko Haram, told reporters in Maiduguri that Leah was alive and holding on to her faith.
”I am really worried about Leah Sharibu and her freedom from Boko Haram is very important to me. Leah did not renounce her faith in Christianity, that I can assure you and we shall do everything with both the government and the international organisation to ensure she regain her freedom just like her colleagues that were reunited with her families,” she said.
The development vindicates her statement that Leah is alive.