The family of a Christian teenager, who was abducted by Boko Haram terrorists in 2018, is speaking out after media reports broke over the weekend claimed she had a baby boy while in captivity.
Leah Sharibu’s family described the reports as just a rumor.
“I have seen reports that Leah had a baby boy. That is just a rumor as far as we are concerned,” Puldu said. “What we even desire is to see a proof-of-life so that we see Leah by ourselves. If they are able to have Leah safe, we will understand.”
“The most important thing is that we want her to be alive. And if she is alive, we will praise God for that,” she continued. “They should release her, despite whatever condition she is in. That is all; it doesn’t matter whether she is pregnant or with a baby. Is it not better to have your child alive? So, it doesn’t matter, all we are interested in is her life and safety.”
Puldu also told the website the family had unconfirmed information that Sharibu, now 16, was still alive.
As CBN News has reported, Sharibu, 14 at the time, was among more than 110 schoolgirls who were kidnapped by the Boko Haram – a deadly Nigerian Islamic terror group with ties to ISIS – from a Dapchi school in February of 2018. While five of the girls died, all of the other girls have been released by the terrorists. Sharibu remains a captive, reportedly because she refuses to renounce her faith in Jesus Christ and was declared a “slave for life” by her captors.
“She chose faith over freedom when it would have been so easy to cave,” said Dede Laugesen, executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians, a grassroots group that raises awareness of worldwide Christian persecution, told CBN News.
Sharibu’s father, Nathan told the Hausa service of Voice of America that he has not been contacted by Nigerian authorities about his daughter and also was unsure about the credibility of the recent reports about his daughter.
As CBN News reported, Sharibu’s mother Rebecca traveled to Washington, DC to advocate for her daughter’s release. Save the Persecuted Christians and the International Committee on Nigeria organized a delegation of Nigerians to travel to Washington, DC to share their stories with leaders at the White House and Capitol Hill.
Nigeria ranks as the 12th worst country in the world for Christian persecution on Open Doors USA’s 2020 World Watch List.
Open Doors USA said last month that there was a decrease in the number of Christians killed in Nigeria for their faith due to a change in tactics by the Boko Haram. The group has gone from assassination to roadside assaults on Christians and kidnappings.