What can people do to help secure the release of Leah so she may return to her parents? Watch Gary Lane’s Where in The World interview with Emmanuel Ogebe to find out.
The clock is ticking down for 15-year old Leah Sharibu. The Nigerian Christian schoolgirl has stood firm in her faith and it may cost Leah her life.
Sharibu is the only Christian among 110 girls abducted by Boko Haram from a school in Dapchi (northern Nigeria) February 15, 2018. In late March, the terrorists freed all the abducted Dapchi girls except for Leah because she refused to renounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam.
The government reportedly paid a ransom to win the release of the 109 Muslim school girls, but not Leah. Nigerian Christians say the Muslim-led government left Leah behind because it considers Christians of lesser value than Muslims.
Now, Leah’s parents are pleading with the Nigerian government to get involved to save their daughter’s life.
International human rights attorney Emmanuel Ogebe recently met with Leah’s parents in Nigeria and he said they told him the government has yet to respond to their pleas for help.
“Up to this point the government hasn’t so much as contacted the family of Leah. They’ve not spoken to her father or her mother since the day Leah was abducted,” Ogebe explained.
He said Leah’s parents have only heard media reports featuring government officials saying they are doing their best to help the Christian girl.
Ogebe said people close to the terrorists told him the government needs to comply with the kidnapper’s ransom demands. The amount they are demanding is not publicly known, but Ogebe said it has increased.
“From what I hear, the terrorists have asked for a higher ransom because they see the world paying attention to this 15-year old. We don’t know for political reasons with their coming elections if the government will decide to pay a ransom for her. It’s unclear,” Ogebe said.
On September 17th the terrorists released a video showing the shooting death of an International Red Cross humanitarian worker. They warned they will kill Leah and two abducted UNICEF staff members if their ransom is not paid within 30-days.
“We contacted the government through writing and also sent audio messages, but the government have ignored us. So, here is a message of blood,” warned a Boko Haram spokesman. “The other nurse and midwife will be executed in a similar manner in one month, including Leah Sharibu.”