THE International Christian Concern, ICC has debunked rumors in the social media about the death of 15-year old Christian Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, abducted in 2019 by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.
ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Nathan Johnson, said that reliably information obtained by his organisation revealed that Leah and Alice Loksha, a UNICEF workers also kidnapped last year, are alive.
Johnson said: “There is always hope that they are alive. The last time they spoke about the girls, Boko Haram even said that they would not kill them since they were not apostates. Instead, Boko Haram said that they would keep them as slaves for life. This does not mean, however, that they are okay.
“We do not know for certain what their state is, but judging by the experiences of other girls who have been captured and then escaped, we can guess that they are probably being beaten, forced to convert, raped, and possibly forced to marry Boko Haram sympathizers.”
Johnson, however, expressed concern over Federal Government’s commitment to pursue the release of Leah.
He said: “The Federal Government continues to say that they are working to secure her freedom, but I doubt to what extent they are trying. When they wanted to secure the release of the other 104 Dapchi girls, it took less than a month. That leaves some questions that are very difficult to answer on the government’s part.”
On the reported talks of lobbying the American Congress to declare Leah a prisoner of Conscience, Johnson said: “ Yes, it is possible that this could happen. I don’t know how much this would change the situation for Leah though. It would keep her in the media and in front of the government.
“It would also show that the United States cares about her case. On the other hand, Boko Haram is already a terrorist organisation according to the US, so I doubt it would help secure her freedom, as the group does not care what the US says.”