The mother of kidnapped schoolgirl Leah Sharibu has called on the government of Nigeria to do everything in its power to secure her daughters release, amid concerns about the recent threat to her life.
Leah Sharibu was the sole Christian among 110 girls abducted from their school in Dapchi, Yobe State, by Boko Haram in February 2018 and the only one not to be returned home after she refused to convert in exchange for her freedom.
At a press conference held on 29 September, a tearful Rebecca Sharibu said: “A threat has been sent out that with effect from October 2018, Leah Sharibu would be next in line to be killed. I am pleading with the Federal Government to do whatever they feel should be done to release Leah before the expiration of the ultimatum.”
The faction of Boko Haram which is holding Leah Sharibu threatened to kill her and her fellow hostages, midwife Hauwa Mohammed Liman and nurse Alice Loksha Ngaddah, following the execution on 16 September of Saifura Husseini Ahmed, a humanitarian worker who they had abducted in March. A terrorist spokesperson described the execution of the 25 year-old mother of two as “a message in blood” to the Nigerian government, who had allegedly failed to respond to unspecified previous written and oral demands.
Mrs Sharibu also denied reports circulating in the Nigerian media last week that her family had filed a law suit against the federal government for compensation, stating “I am not after money: all I want is my daughter to be released.”
CSW’s Chief Executive, Mervyn Thomas, said “CSW extends its full support to the family of Leah Sharibu and echoes Mrs Sharibu’s call for the Government of Nigeria to do everything in its power to expedite her release. We also reiterate our call for the release of Hauwa Mohammed Liman, Alice Loksha Ngaddah, and the 112 girls abducted from their school in Chibok, Borno state, in April 2014. Furthermore, we urge the Nigerian government to ensure that the armed forces are fully equipped to address this brutal insurgency, to protect vulnerable communities, and to safeguard women and girls from abduction.”