Leah Sharibu, the Nigerian Christian girl still being held captive by Boko Haram, reportedly asked her released friends to pass her mother a message, which read:
“My mother you should not be disturbed. I know it is not easy missing me, but I want to assure you that I am fine where I am… I am confident that one day I shall see your face again. If not here, then there at the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
According to local partners of the Christian charity Open Doors, who recently visited the Sharibu family, Leah’s mother fainted after receiving her daughter’s message. She also reportedly found it traumatic to hear the stories of some of the abducted girls.
One of Leah’s friends told the Sharibu family some details about Leah’s attempted escape, which ended with her being sent back to the Boko Haram camp by the people whom she had approached for help.
“She didn’t tell us she was leaving,” Leah’s friend, Aisha, told the family. “We thought she was just going round the corner, but she sneaked out along with Maryam and Amira [her classmates].”
The girls were taken on 19 February during a raid on their school in Dapchi, in the northern state of Yobe. Boko Haram released 104 of the girls on 21 March.
Leah’s parents were told that the militants did not want to let her go because she refused to convert to Islam. After hearing that his daughter was still being held captive, her father said: “I am very sad but I am also jubilant, too, because my daughter did not denounce Christ.”
On 23 March, the President of the Church to which Leah’s family belongs released a statement, saluting her “courage, doggedness, and faith”.