Leah Sharibu, the Christian girl among 112 students kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents in Yobe, has given birth in captivity.
In a tweet confirming the development, Ahmad Salkida, journalist with access to the insurgents, said Sharibu is now a mother, but that he was yet to know the gender of the baby.
“Why, I wonder, do we pretend that leaving Leah behind won’t result in pregnancy? Since the terror group announced condemning her to slavery, is there any step or collective focus on preventing similar occurrences? She’s a mother, but I don’t know about the gender of the baby,” Salkida tweeted on Sunday.
Why, I wonder, do we pretend that leaving Leah behind won't result in pregnancy? Since the terror group announced condemning her to slavery, is there any step or collective focus on preventing similar occurrences? She's a mother, but I don't know about the gender of the baby.— Ahmad Salkida (@A_Salkida) January 26, 2020
A source who also confirmed the development said Sharibu was “impregnated by one of the commanders of the sect, and she was delivered of a baby four days ago”.
In other reports credited to Sahara Reporters and Daily Trust, the girl who was 16 years old at the time she was captured along with 110 of her schoolmates, was impregnated by a Boko Haram top commander.
Sahara Reporters did not indicate when exactly she gave birth. It said she gave birth ‘a few weeks ago’.
Daily Trust, however, said she gave birth in Niger Republic on Saturday 25 January.
According to the reports, Leah was forced to convert to Islam before being given away to the Boko Haram commander, who also was not mentioned, but who Daily Trust said operates from Niger Republic.
The Daily Trust also reported that the insurgents had wanted to release Leah a few months ago but couldn’t because she was pregnant. It is not clear whether Leah will be allowed to go by the terrorists having delivered a child for their commander.
The report will definitely exacerbate the worsening relations between the Buhari administration and the Christian leaders, who have mounted a local and international campaign for the release of Leah.
Sharibu was abducted alongside other girls from Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state, on February 19, 2018.
The girls who were captured were subsequently released, except five who reportedly died in captivity, but Sharibu was held back for “refusing to renounce her faith”.
In August 2018, a recording of Sharibu was obtained where she begged the president to come to her rescue and reunite her with her family.
She had said: “I am Leah Sharibu, the girl that was abducted in GGSS Dapchi. I am calling on the government and people of goodwill to intervene to get me out of my current situation.
“I also plead to the members of the public to help my mother, my father, my younger brother and relatives. Kindly help me out of my predicament. I am begging you to treat me with compassion, I am calling on the government, particularly, the president to pity me and get me out of this serious situation. Thank you.”
Last week, one of the aid workers freed by Boko Haram, Jennifer Ukambong Samuel, said Leah Sharibu was alive.
Jennifer who was working for Action for International Medical Alliance when she was captured in December last year, said she met another abductee of the organization who claimed that Leah was alive and hidden in an undisclosed location.
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