The family of Christian teenage schoolgirl abducted by Boko Haram terrorists in 2018, Leah Sharibu, has reacted to media reports that their daughter was recently delivered of a baby boy for a Boko Haram commander.
Earlier, a reliable source close to Boko Haram revealed that Leah Sharibu has given birth to a baby boy for a top Boko Haram commander whom she was forced to marry after converting her to Islam.
However, the spokesperson of the family and senior lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Jos, Dr. Gloria Puldu described the report as a rumour.
He said the only desire of the family was to have their daughter with or without a baby.
“I have seen reports that Leah had a baby boy. That is just a rumour as far as we are concerned. What we even desire is to see a proof of life so that we see Leah by ourselves. If they are able to have Leah safe, we will understand,” Puldu said according to Punch.
“The most important thing is that we want her to be alive. And if she is alive, we will praise God for that. They should release her, despite whatever condition she is in. That is all; it doesn’t matter whether she is pregnant or with a baby. Is it not better to have your child alive? So, it doesn’t matter, all we are interested in is her life and safety.
“I spoke with Jennifer, who was in Boko Haram captivity, last Monday or Tuesday. I was able to speak with her one-on-one and she told us that she did not see Leah in captivity, but she was with Alison Gada, who informed her that Leah was alive, healthy and not dead,” he added.
Meanwhile, the President of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (Church of the Brethren), Rev Joel Billi, noted a journalist who has access to Boko Haram, Ahmad Salkida, told him Leah had become a mother.
Billi said he got the call from Salkida on the same day the journalist announced the execution of the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev Lawan Andimi, by the insurgents.
“Ahmed Salkida, whom I knew as a young boy when I was a pastor in Biu, called me to inform me that Andimi had been gruesomely murdered.
“I was also told by Ahmad Salkida that Leah Sharibu had given birth to a baby. I was devastated. I was staggering and almost fell down because I was shocked to hear that. I couldn’t absorb the shock because Leah Sharibu had become a symbol of the Christian faith. I consider her Christian faith stronger than even that of many church leaders. When I heard that Leah Sharibu was now a mother, I had to ask more than three times just to be sure. Ahmad Salkida said, ‘Leah Sharibu is now a mother.’”
Leah was among 110 schoolgirls abducted on February 19, 2018 by Boko Haram terrorists from Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi in Yobe State.
In March 2018, the Federal Government announced the insurgents had returned 106 of the kidnapped schoolchildren but that Leah was not among them.
It was reported that Leah, who was 14 years old at the time she was kidnapped, was not released because she refused to convert to Islam.
According to reports, Leah would have been released months ago but for her pregnancy.
The federal government has said that it is making efforts to secure the release of Leah.