A United States-based group US-Nigeria Law Group has alleged that the Dapchi “heroine Christian” schoolgirl Leah Sharibu has given birth to a second child in captivity.
The teenage girl who was kidnapped from her school in Dapchi, Yobe State, in February 2018 was reported to have given birth to her first child, a boy, in January 2020. She was allegedly given in marriage to a top Boko Haram commander who lives outside Nigeria.
Sharibu was part of 110 schoolgirls of Government Girls’ Science and Technical College (GGSTC) who were kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents at the time.
While majority of the girls have regained their freedom, Sharibu was held back for refusing to denounce her Christian faith.
Convener of the US-Nigeria Law Group Emmanuel Ogebe said in a statement that “despite an offer by an American pastor last month to surrender himself in exchange for Leah’s freedom, there has been no tangible response from her captors.
“That notwithstanding, intelligence received on the status of Leah indicates that she has delivered a second child in captivity. While we have not corroborated this by multiple sources, a usually knowledgeable source indicated that she delivered a second child late last year. This means both children were born in 2020 as the terrorists announced her childbirth earlier in 2020. We are still investigating this.”
To commemorate the March 21 third anniversary of the release of the Dapchi girls returned by their captors and “abandonment of Leah Sharibu”, the US group in its commemorative statement, said “until she is released, Leah remains a poster child and symbol of a failed state that can’t protect its children”.
The group also lamented the “full-scale onslaught on education in Nigeria by Islamist extremists: Boko Haram wars against education; bandits mass kidnap of children in school; and religious violence against Christian mission school owners in Ilorin over hijab controversy.”