Except the LORD God Almighty smiles beautiful at the Church, and especially her family, within the next 48 hours, heroine of faith and school girl in captivity, Leah Sharibu, will be spending her 16th birthday anniversary in the hands of Boko Haram insurgents.
Leah’s father, Nathaniel, told Nigeria Everyday on Sunday that the fate of his daughter was “beyond expectation”.
“It is very, very sad; it is very, very sad; it is beyond expectation”, he said with a heavy, but stentorian voice.
Leah was one of 106 girls abducted from the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, 15 months ago. While others were freed, Leah, the only Christian among the students, has remained in captivity because she would not renounce her faith in Jesus Christ for freedom.
Another group of mostly Christian girls, numbering over 110, from another Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno Stats are still held by another faction of the same Boko Haram insurgents five years on.
Last month, President Muhammadu Buhari reminded the parents of the school girls of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State that he has still not forgotten their daughters who were kidnapped from their dormitory five years ago.
A statement from the President’s office had said on Leah: “On Leah Sharibu’s abduction, the interlocutors have reported encouraging progress so far.
“The report reaching us says her return to her family has unfortunately been hindered by the fear of the militants.
“They worry that heavy military presence in areas where they previously moved about freely could affect their safety after they return her to the government”.
At least three groups are rolling out the pews and calling the faithful to pray for her and others in captivity in Abuja, Lagos, and Jos, Plateau State.
Peaceful marches and rallies will also hold in the cities.
A statement by one of the anchors, Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam reads in part: “Leah Sharibu’s Birthday will be on Tuesday May 14th, 2019. You are hereby invited to join in marking her birthday. There will be a variety of events. However, we would like you to consider the following and attend any of the under-listed. We urge people to turn out and provide support and solidarity to honor Leah’s testimony of faith and resilience. Contact your friends and others in the three cities to also attend. We (urge) Women, Mothers, Fathers and young people to identify with Leah in this day by coming out to join in the prayer abs peaceful march.
“By her 16th birthday Leah would have spent 449 days in captivity. There is need to mark her birthday in prayer The under-listed Events will take place in three (3) Cities at the following venues:
▪ Abuja – National Christian Centre, CAN Hqts Abuja and the Unity Fountain Park
Time: 9am – 12noon
▪ Jos – ECWA Hqts Church – Time 12noon -3:00pm
▪ Lagos: Realm of Glory Hqts Church
Off Dibor Street, Okota-Isolo, Lagos
Among the suggested strategies to mark the day are:
▪ a special prayer time for Leah and others in captivity.
▪ peaceful marches in these cities and brief rallies with placards displaying # Not Forsaken, Not Forgotten, # Free Leah, Happy birthday Leah, #For Leah’s sake, #Keep our schools safe, #Act now to keep our girls safe, #It could be your daughter. #SAY NO TO KIDNAPPING IN OUR SCHOOLS, LET’S UNITE AGAINST TERRORISM!
The 4 Partnering Groups are: Leah Sharibu Foundation, CWEENS (Women), Catalyst for Peace and Justice (CPJ), Lagos, and the Para-Mallam Peace Foundation
Interested individuals and groups have been advised to contact the following for more information: Dr Gloria Samdi Puldu, Jos 0803 454 8951 (Leah Foundation)
Joy Machunga 0803 607 3144 (CWEENS)
Pastor Debra Life-Alegbemi, Abuja 0806 534 0589 (CWEENS); Rev. Abraham Aiyedogbon (CPJ) 0703 000 1195; Revd Gideon Para-Mallam 08033120747 (TP-MPF) (Facilitating).