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Protest, prayers hold at Nigerian embassy in London for Leah Sharibu

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Leah Sharibu in captivity

It is two years today since Leah Sharibu was abducted from her school in Dapchi, Yobe State. A human rights organisation specialising in freedom of religion, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) will mark the second anniversary of the abduction by protesting outside the Nigerian High Commission in London today by 3:00p.m.

Eritrean gospel singer, Helen Berhane, who spent two and a half years imprisoned by Eritrean authorities in a shipping container on account of her faith, will give an address, while CSW’s founder and Chief Executive, Mervyn Thomas, will present to the High Commission a petition for the Nigerian government.

Thomas said: “Leah Sharibu has now been in the hands of this violent sect for 730 days and we are deeply concerned by the lack of government action to secure her release. We continue to call on the government of Nigeria to do everything in its power to expedite the release of this courageous schoolgirl, alongside that of her fellow Chibok hostages.”

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Also, the International Organisation for Peace and Social Justice has since Monday began a two-day webinar tagged: Stand with Leah Sharibu, where they invited people from around the world to join Rebecca Sharibu, Leah’s mum and others standing to pray for freedom from captivity for Leah and also prayer for an end to insecurity and killings across the country.

There were two sessions of prayer yesterday alongside the Westminster Briefing, a private lunchtime meeting in Westminster for key stakeholders in the United Kingdom to highlight the plight of Leah alongside ongoing mass killing by the terrorists across Nigeria. A prayer session holds today between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the Nigerian High Commission in London.

On February 19, 2018 at about 5:30 pm, 110 schoolgirls, aged between 11 and 19 years were kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist group from the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College (GGSTC).

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The then governor of Yobe, Ibrahim Gaidam, blamed the Nigerian Army for deploying soldiers and removing them from a military checkpoint from the town. Dapchi incident happened four years after a similar incident, the Chibok girls abduction in Borno State.

On March 21, 2018, four weeks after, the Federal Government announced that Boko Haram terrorists had returned 106 of the kidnapped children. Leah Sharibu wasn’t released and her parents said the group would only release her if she converted to Islam.

The group returned the girls to Dapchi and dropped them off in the town in nine vehicles. The Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated that the release was unconditional, but days later information emerged that government paid huge ransom for the release of the girls.

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The Guardian newspaper on January 1, 2019 named Leah Sharibu as its 2018 ‘‘Person of the Year,’’ aptly describing her as “A goddess of resistance”.

Three weeks ago, Sharibu was delivered of a baby boy, according to security sources following her forceful marriage to a top Boko Haram commander. The report claimed that Leah, who refused to renounce her Christian faith, was forced to accept Islam before being married to a top commander of the terror group.

At the weekend, reports also filtered in that the Boko Haram terrorist group rejected the ransom offered by the Federal Government to secure the release of Sharibu.

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