Defiant Dapchi girl to mum: let God’s will be done
parents of the only Dapchi schoolgirl still being held by Boko Haram are hopeful that she will return home.
Leah Sharibu, a SS 1 pupil, sent a message to her mother that the family should pray “for the will of God to be done”.
President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday that the government would not abandon her.
Leah, the only Christian among the 110 girls kidnapped on February 19, was not released along with 104 others on Wednesday.
Five of the girls died on the day they were abducted.
Leah’s mother, Mrs Rebecca Sharibu, fainted when she was told on Wednesday that her daughter was not released.
Mrs Sharibu told our reporter yesterday that her daughter sent a message that the family should pray for God’s will to be done.
Mrs Sharibu has not lost hope that her daughter would return. She vowed to continue to pray for her to be released.
She said: ”The released girls told us that the insurgents insisted that my daughter must renounce her religion. But she told them she had no single knowledge of Islam and could not be a Muslim. She was then left out of the Dapchi trip. They told her that any day she accepts Islam, she will be released.
”Leah, we were told was left behind with three Boko Haram women but she sent the message through her mates that we should pray for the will of God to be done in her life”.
She urged the Federal Government to negotiate for her daughter’s freedom, saying:
”So I plead that the government and the negotiation team should revisit the terms of the agreement to ensure the release of my daughter. Everybody has his religion and no one should be compelled to practice a religion he or she never wishes to”.
Leah’s father Nathan Sharibu thanked the Dapchi community for standing by him and his family.
He described his relationship with the people of the community over the years as excellent, adding: “For all the years I have stayed in this community, the people have accepted me as their son. I feel very much at home here with my family. I will forever be grateful to this community”.
Yesterday, the community prayed for the repose of the souls of the dead girls.
They called on the government to ensure Leah’s unconditional return.
Buhari said his administration would not relent in its efforts to bring Leah back.
Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said Buhari was conscious of his duty under the Constitution to protect all Nigerians, irrespective of faith, ethnic background or geopolitical location. “He will not shirk this responsibility”, Shehu said.
The statement reads: “The President is equally mindful of the fact that true followers of Islam all over the world respect the injunction that there is no compulsion in religion.
“To this effect, no one or group can impose its religion on another.
“His heart goes out to the isolated parents who must watch others rejoice while their own daughter is still away.
“The lone Dapchi girl, Leah, will not be abandoned.
“President Buhari assures the Sharibu family that he will continue to do all he can to ensure that they also have cause to rejoice with their daughter soon.”
The Presidency confirmed that Buhari will receive the girls today at noon .
They have been receiving treatment in Abuja since they got there on Wednesday following their release.