Letter to Leah Sharibu

Dear Leah, It is now over six and a half months since you were abducted by Boko Haram along with other 109 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School in Dapchi, Yobe state, all in your quest to better yourself through education.
The abduction should never have happened in the first place due to the presence of heavily armed soldiers in Dapchi town but they were suddenly redeployed to another location leaving only the police who claim they were given no notice.
Until now, military authorities have yet to provide any credible explanation regarding the redeployment of the soldiers or why the police in Dapchi town and the Yobe state governor were not put on notice regarding the redeployment of the soldiers.
But suffice to say that on the day you were abducted along with the other 109 schoolgirls, you were all left unprotected, making the abduction very straightforward exactly as happened when Boko Haram abducted Chibok girls some few years back.
Typical of the hue and cry that accompanies such an occurrence, the outrage expressed locally and internationally over the Dapchi girls’ abduction was of earthquake proportions and the federal government swung into action.
The immediate response to rescue the abducted Dapchi girls promised by President Buhari yielded fruit on March 28 when Boko Haram released all the other abducted girls but held onto you for the fact that you refused to renounce your Christian faith.
I can imagine your joy at learning that your government had been able to secure, from Boko Haram, the release of the abducted Dapchi girls and your eventual personal horror and pain in discovering the release did not extend to you.
I know you must have cried your heart out as you watched all the other Dapchi girls but you board the vehicles that took them out of Boko Haram captivity and back to the arms of their parents, families, friends and other school girls.
I know that every day after March 28 has left you with a heavy heart as you now no longer have the other Dapchi girls to keep you company and worse still, wondering why your Christian faith should be the basis of your continued captivity.
That the federal government has not been able to secure your release from Boko Haram captivity almost seems to give credence to the fact that you have been left to your fate, and it would seem now that the ball is fully in your court.
Some people have even suggested that you renounce your Christian faith and embrace Islam to secure your freedom from Boko Haram captivity and on your release you can revert to Christianity.
I honestly cannot say what I would have done if I were the one in your position but the real tragedy is that your government has put you in the unfortunate position where you are even faced with such a terrible choice at such a young age.
Such a decision regarding renunciation of faith should ordinarily not be made while one is in captivity and worse while under the age of 18, and that is why your continued captivity continues to minister as proof of your unyielding faith in Christ Jesus.
The United Nations recently released a report that said the federal government paid a ransom for the release of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls which leaves us wondering whether the negotiation and ransom payment to Boko Haram excluded you.
The government could not have gone into a negotiation with the abductors of the Dapchi schoolgirls knowing you were going to be held back, meaning the payment of the ransom was for all of you, so why are you still in captivity? The government has now come out to say through Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media, that only God can tell when you will eventually be released from Boko Haram captivity.
Adesina was responding to news reports that Boko Haram had recently released an audio clip of a recording you made where you were appealing to the Buhari government not to forget you in captivity and to take steps to secure your release.
The implication of this statement is that if ransom was paid for the release of the other abducted Dapchi schoolgirls, it is either Boko Haram is asking the federal government the impossible for your release or insisting that you renounce your Christian faith first.
Whatever the condition the simple reality is that to all intents and purposes, other than your faith in God to intervene in your release which is backed by the prayers of well-meaning people, you are on your own in the lions’ den.
So around you now is darkness but your stand for Christ Jesus has become light for others in the world and however this ends, your place in the Hall of Christian fame is assured and even Heaven is applauding your testimony.
Don’t shed any more tears, Leah, remain bold and courageous, and you remain in our thoughts as we carry you in our hearts, while those of us much older than you are now the ones drawing inspiration from your unyielding faith in Christ Jesus.
We pray you come out of this ordeal alive and in good health, Love and regards, Kingsley Omose Uromi, Edo state

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