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Nigerian Christian schoolgirl pleads for freedom in recording

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 8/28/18, 11:21 am

Leah Sharibu, the lone Christian among the Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in February and the only one who remains in captivity, called on the Nigerian government to intervene on her behalf in an audio recording obtained by a Nigerian news site. In the 35-second recording released Monday by The Cable, the 15-year-old, speaking in her native Hausa language, asked Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to “pity me and get me out of this serious situation.”

Her father, Sharibu Nathan, told CNN it is his daughter’s voice on the recording and he was glad to hear she is alive. “I thought she might have been killed since we were told by those released that Boko Haram kept her because she is a Christian,” he said. “I can only imagine the way they would have treated her.”

Boko Haram militants in February kidnapped Sharibu, along with 109 other schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe state. In March, the Islamic extremists released 104 of the surviving schoolgirls, who later said Sharibu remained in captivity because she refused to renounce her faith.

The Cable also released a photo of Sharibu dressed in a hijab and sitting on a mat. Garba Shehu, a spokesman for Buhari, tweeted Monday that the State Security Service is analyzing the recording. “Our reaction will follow the outcome of the investigation,” he wrote. “In dealing with terrorists, nothing is too trivial.”

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 08/28/2018 02:27 pm

    This is heartbreaking. We here in the US often fail to consider how it is to live in a place where one may face extremist violence  at any moment. 

  •  Deb O's picture
    Deb O
    Posted: Tue, 08/28/2018 02:44 pm

    I wonder if I could be as brave as Leah to stand up for Christ in the face of such an enemy and unimaginable circumstances.

  • Kiwi's picture
    Posted: Tue, 08/28/2018 05:40 pm

    We have her photo on her fridge, and pray for her often.  We have had many prisoners' photos on that fridge throughout the years, and all have been released except Andrew Brunson and Leah Sharibu. May she soon be freed