Prayer, pleas and protest on second anniversary of Leah Sharibu’s kidnapping

Rebecca Sharibu, right front, mother of  Nigerian Christian schoolgirl Leah Sharibu who was kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists, joins a protest outside the Nigerian Embassy in London on Wednesday, on the second anniversary of her daughter’s capture.

Wednesday marked two years since Leah Sharibu and fellow students were kidnapped from their school in Dapchi, Borno State, Nigeria by Boko Haram. All the girls were released one month later (except for five who died during the ordeal), but Leah, 16, remains in captivity because she refuses to deny Christ. All that Leah’s parents want is to be reunited with her.

Open Doors interviewed Reverend Gideon Para-Mallam, who as a Christian brother, has come alongside the family to provide them with pastoral care and support. Watch the interview below:

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Sadly, possibly hundreds of young girls and women in Nigeria have been kidnapped. According to Reverend Gideon, even young boys and men are kidnapped, forced to fight for militants in the name of Islam.

What’s happening in Nigeria is “criminal, a human rights violation and that is why I feel the government and international community, needs to do more about the ongoing situation. We need to protect our children, our women,” says Reverend Gideon.

Rebecca Sharibu, Leah’s mother, joined a protest outside the Nigerian High Commission in London, organised by CSW to mark the second anniversary of her daughter’s abduction and calling on the Nigerian government to do everything in its power to secure her release, reports CSW.

Speaking outside the Nigerian High Commission, Rebecca Sharibu said: “Today Leah has spent two years in captivity. We don’t know where Leah is, we don’t know the condition or the situation that Leah is in. I want to thank you once again for the encouragement I receive from all of you, and plead with you to continue praying until Leah is out. I’m pleading with [the UK] government and with our Nigerian government, with President Buhari… to fulfil his promises that he has made to me personally, that he is going to rescue Leah and ensure that she is released, and not just Leah, all the others in captivity.”

Mrs Sharibu, accompanied by CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas, subsequently delivered a petition with 12 132 signatures to the High Commission, calling on the Nigerian government to take action to help Leah.

Leah Sharibu.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wedenesday that all Nigerians are equal before the law and before God, reports Christian Today.

In a statement on the anniversary, Buhari said that his government was still working to secure her release.

“We say, as the government for and of all Nigerians, that no person has the right to force another to change their faith against their will and that all life is sacred,” he said.

“This government continues and seeks to secure the release of all children and captives of terrorists – and we do so regardless of their creed or the name of their creator.

“As we redouble our efforts for Leah’s return, we can never allow the terrorists to divide us – Christian against Muslim, Muslim against Christian. We are all Sons of Abraham. And all Nigerians have the same worth and rights before the law, and before God”.

On Wednesday Open Doors called for prayer for Leah, her family and the many other people whose lives have been affected by kidnappings.

They say: “Please stand with us in prayer today:
Pray that God will bring Leah home in His time.
Pray for strength for Leah, who is an example to all of us.
Pray that God will stir the hearts of her captors to see who the true God is through Leah’s faith.
Pray for Nathan, Rebecca and Donald (Leah’s younger brother) and all the other families affected by kidnappings. May the government secure the release of Leah and all the other Nigerians that are held captive.
Thank you for being a partner in prayer!”

Leah Sharibu (Photo: Family)

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