Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris on Saturday in Maiduguri said Federal Government of Nigeria has reached a breakthrough in securing Leah Sharibu‘s release.
Islamist terror group Book Haram had reportedly held back on freeing Leah Sharibu on account of her not renouncing her Christian faith.
Leah Sharibu was the only Christian girl among the Dapchi schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram last month. She could have been freed along with her schoolmates but she refused to renounce her faith.
Leah Sharibu refused to accept Islam, despite pleas from her classmates to pretend to do so.
The now freed girl is on her way to Dapchi, Yobe State, according to the Police IG on Saturday evening.
110 students (all girls) were abducted from the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) Dapchi, in Yobe state on February 19, 2018.
However, after negotiations, 104 of them and two other abductees – a boy and a girl, were released on March 21.
Unfortunately, five of the girls died as a result of the trauma while in captivity. There are reports that the five girls may have died because they were possibly trampled to death in the overcrowded trucks as they were being abducted.
Early on Wednesday morning, Rebecca Sharibu, 15 year old Leah Sharibu’s mother heard girls’ voices and the sound of vehicles driving past her house.
She was told to stay inside, but when she heard the cars coming back after dropping the girls off, she ran out. All around her were joyful parents and their returned daughters.
But she could not find Leah anywhere.
Frantic with worry, she found two of Leah’s friends and asked them:
“Where is Leah, I can’t find my Leah, why did you leave her there?”
The girls told her:
“Boko Haram told Leah to accept Islam and she refused. So they said she would not come with us and she should go and sit back down with three other girls they had there.
“We begged her to just recite the Islamic declaration and put the hijab on and get into the vehicle, but she said it was not her faith, so why should she say it was? If they want to kill her, they can go ahead, but she won’t say she is a Muslim.”
Leah asked her friends to tell her parents to pray for her, they said, but her mother could not find out anything else about how her daughter was, as the army then ordered all of the released girls to report to the hospital.
The freed girls were held there for several hours and then taken to Abuja, where on Friday they were to meet the president, Muhammadu Buhari, in his villa, surrounded by cameras, as he declared their release “cheery and hearty”.
The President encouraged them to pursue their dreams without fear regardless of the traumatic experience.
He assured them of their security and said that efforts were on to also secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls and other Nigerians in captivity of the terrorists.