Leah Sharibu

Name: Leah Sharibu

Age: 16

Country/Area of Origin: Nigeria

Incident: On February 19, 2018, a separate faction of Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), abduced 110 schoolgirls from Government Girls Science and Technical College. Five of the girls were killed during the kidnapping, and 104 were returned safely to their homes. However, Leah Sharibu currently remains in Boko Haram captivity as she refuses to meet the demands of the group and renounce Christianity & return to Islam.

Latest Updates:

  • 28 December 2021: Two months until the fourth anniversary of Leah’s abduction, her parents Nathan and Rebecca Sharibu have expressed to Executive Director of Leah Foundation, Dr. Gloria Puldu, that they are exhausted from repeatedly pleading with the Nigerian government to secure the release of their daughter, with no successes and instead inaction by the government. Dr. Puldu states the following:
    • “Thank you very much for your concern. Let me tell you how the family has agreed to spend this Christmas. They said they were tired of speaking, crying and pleading with the government of Buhari, which is deaf to every call. So it is agreed that they should remain silent and just call for continued prayers. They said they were tired of routine calls, which hurt so much that they had to just call on anyone who wished to stand with them to do so only in prayers. We wish to respect the family’s wishes. We have only sent out Christmas greetings by calling for prayers”.
  • In early October 2021, Aid to the Church in Need International interviewed Reverend Gideon Para-Mallam, who has been working on Leah’s case. Reverend Para-Mallam reported that Leah is alive and well, but that there is not much opportunity for the Christian Church to negotiate her release from Boko Haram captivity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, he reflected that unfortunately the recent death of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau likely won’t have a positive impact on Leah’s situation such as a possible release. Reverend Para-Mallam explains that the best we can do right now is continue to raise Leah’s story and pray for her release; Leah’s younger brother, who recently finished secondary school, is hoping and praying for his sister’s freedom.
    • “The situation for Christians in Nigeria could be described as ‘deadly and horrible times.’ Christians in Nigeria have never had it so bad. The killings are real. The effect of the persecution is palpably severe in some parts of the country, especially the Northeast, West, and Middle Belt. Let me be clear, the deadly insurgency in Nigeria has also led to many Muslims being killed by Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, and bandits. However, the fact that Muslims are also victims does not hide the fact that Christians are being persecuted today in Nigeria.”
  • On 24 March 2021, it was reported that Leah Sharibu has given birth to her second child from a Boko Haram commander.
  • As of October 18, 2020, abducted Nigerian teachers and students Ezra Bako, Miracle Saitu Danjuma, Favour Danjuma, Happiness Odoji, and Christiana Madugu were released; however, Leah Sharibu continues to remain in Boko Haram captivity.
  • In January 2020, it was confirmed by an aid worker that Leah is still alive and that she is healthy, and this news was followed up on January five days later by unconfirmed reports that she became pregnant and gave birth to a boy.