Leah Sharibu, the only Christian among the 110 Dapchi schoolgirls kidnapped from Yobe State by Boko Haram on February 19, 2018 might have been converted to Islam.
Leah was reportedly not released because she refused to convert to Islam.
In October 2018, her parents revealed that Boko Haram had threatened to kill her later that month, should the government not meet their demands.
Grace Taku, an aid worker kidnapped by Boko Haram on July 18, 2019 had claimed in a video released by the insurgents in same July that Leah and another abducted aid worker, Alice Ngaadah had been killed over the Nigeria’s Federal Government’s inability to “do something”.
However, one of the five aid workers abducted on December 22, 2019 and freed on January 15, 2020, Miss Jennifer Ukambong Samuel on Saturday told Journalists that Leah and Grace were well and alive.
Though she didn’t meet Leah and Grace while in captivity, Ukambong said she was told by Alice whom she visited twice “in her house” before being freed, that the two were “doing fine”.
To verify these claims, MK caught up with one of the hostages taken and released along with Ukambong, Mr. George Danbaba Michael.
In his words, “Out there, they operate strictly based on the Qur’an. They don’t allow men to see women but one of the guards placed over us told us that Grace and Leah are now Muslims.”
Asked whether they were married, Danbaba said “That I didn’t hear but I was told that Leah now has a child.”
Miss Ukambong had said Alice’s name has been changed to Halima, an Arabic name mostly used by Muslims.
She also said they were going to be retained as slaves should they fail to convert to Islam.
It is not clear whether a slave in the terrorists’ camp still has the right to free religion but Alice according to Ukambong has pleaded for prayers for the three of them.
Over 5000 Muslims had also gathered to pray for the release of Leah on Thursday, May 16, 2019 when she turned 16.