Sharibu Family Calls on Nigeria to Allow the U.S. to Help Rescue the Teen Held Captive by Boko Haram and Restore Security to the Nation
March 25, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – News broke this week that Leah Sharibu, who refused to renounce her faith in Jesus Christ when threatened by Boko Haram terrorists, has given birth to a second baby while in captivity earlier this week. Leah Sharibu was among the 109 young girls and one boy abducted from a boarding school in Dapchi, northern Nigeria on February 19, 2018. Within a month, five girls had perished, but the rest – save Leah Sharibu – were returned after the Nigerian government negotiated with the kidnappers.
“This is shameful of General Buhari and his entire government,” said Dr. Gloria Puldu, president of the Leah Foundation. “He has abandoned this young child in captivity. Leah Sharibu represents the face of women and girls in all forms of slavery and captivity in Nigeria,” continued Puldu. “That is why a #FreeNigerianSlaves campaign was started in the United States of America due to Sharibu’s plight, to advocate for the freedom of every Nigerian – especially women and girls in any form of slavery. We call on all well-meaning Nigerians not to remain silent but speak up against the injustice against our children.”
Two weeks ago, Leah’s parents, Nathan and Rebecca Sharibu, released a statement calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to negotiate Leah’s release, as he had with the almost 300 Muslim Kankara boys from Katsina in December, 2020 just six days after their abduction; the more than 25 school boys from Kagara in Niger State in February 2021; and the 317 school girls from Jangebe in Zamfara, who were freed within days of their abduction. According to the Sharibu family, Nigeria has woefully failed their daughter.
Puldu urges the Buhari administration to allow the U.S. to help rescue Leah.
“Nations all across the world value their citizens and will go to any length to rescue their adult citizens talkless of of their children, yet the Buhari’s administration has abandoned Leah Sharibu the lone Christian girl for over three years in captivity. This same administration has abandoned the remaining 112 Chibok girls for almost 7 years.
“Nigerians recently saw how the American Government came to rescue one of its citizen who was abducted in Niger Republic but transported into Nigeria (another Sovereign State) to rescue that one single adult citizen because of how it values the life of every of its citizen. Yet Leah, a minor, has been abandoned and forgotten by her government. We know that the American Government has recently offed to assist Nigeria in its fight against insecurity if the Nigerian Government request for its assistance. Leah’s parents are calling on General Buhari to please accept the American offer of assistance to secure the release of their daughter, especially if his current successful negotiators are not able to secure her release as they did with the recent school abductions.”
In June 2019, Save the Persecuted Christians, the International Committee on Nigeria and the Hon. Frank Wolf, a longtime human rights and religious freedom champion, brought Leah’s mother, Rebecca Sharibu, and Dr. Gloria Puldu, of the Leah Foundation, to the United States to press the Trump administration and Congress for help to recover Leah. Within a week of meeting Rebecca, Vice President Mike Pence summoned Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the White House to answer questions raised by Christian witnesses to the ongoing insecurity, attacks and abductions in terror-torn Nigeria. Osinbajo promised the Nigerian government was doing all it could to secure her release.
“This is such sad, and difficult news,” said Dede Laugesen, executive director for Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC, www.savethepersecutedchristians.org). “If true, someone knows where Leah is and how she’s faring-she should be free! If untrue, it is devilish deceit.
“Little information flows out of the terrorist dens of Sambisa Forest, long the domain of Boko Haram and their ISIS-affiliated splinter group, the Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP), who reportedly holds Leah captive.
“What matters is that Leah, and all captive children, are brought back safe to the land of the living into the waiting arms of their parents and nation. I pray every day Leah may have holy impact where she is and lead many hearts to truth and righteousness, and that she might be freed according to God’s glorious Will. May any children she may have be a balm to her heart and an opportunity to share God’s love and light where hatred and darkness abound.”
“Nigerian citizens are tired of the widespread insecurity all across the country – especially the frequent school children abductions,” stated Puldu. “What has happened to the Safe School Initiative that was launched after the Chibok schoolgirls abduction? It was supposed to have been replicated all across the country by now to ensure the safety of our children’s schools – yet schools are more unsafe than ever before.
The Leah Foundation, founded by Sharibu’s parents, advocates for Nigerian children seeking to gain an education without fear or harm. UNICEF reports more than 13 million children in northern Nigeria are not in school—the highest in the world. Many refuse to go to school out of fear.
The mission of Save the Persecuted Christians is to save lives and save souls by disseminating actionable information about the magnitude of the persecution taking place globally and by mobilizing concerned Americans for the purpose of disincentivizing further attacks on those who follow Jesus.
With so much of the world’s Christian population being imprisoned and/or harassed for their beliefs, such as Christians in Nigeria, the need has never been greater for the sort of grassroots campaign STPC’s SaveUs Movement is working to foster. Its efforts are modeled after a miraculously successful one that helped free another population suffering from heavy persecution—Soviet Jews—by penalizing those in the Kremlin responsible for such repression. Through this movement, Save the Persecuted Christians endeavors to provide American policymakers with the popular support they need to effect real change worldwide and alleviate systemicallythe suffering being experienced by so many of those following Christ.
To interview a Save the Persecuted Christians representative, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Nick DiFazio, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.