Nigerians from across the world took to social media on Tuesday to wish abducted Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, a happy 16th birthday and also criticise the Federal Government for not doing enough to secure her release.
Sharibu, whose continued captivity in the hands of Boko Haram insurgents is her price for reportedly not accepting Islam, was kidnapped on February 19, 2018.
She marked her 15th birthday in captivity last May and is now marking another birthday with Boko Haram despite several promises by both the Federal Government and the military.
The pupil was the only Christian girl among the 112 kidnapped from their school — Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state — by Boko Haram members
While the others were later brought home, Sharibu was held back for reportedly refusing to denounce Christianity and has remained in captivity ever since.
In all, she has spent over 400 days in captivity while there is no proof to show that she is still alive.
Shortly after the other girls were released, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed sadness over Sharibu’s situation and promised his government will not abandon her.
“The lone Dapchi girl, Leah, will not be abandoned. President Buhari assures the Sharibu family that he will continue to do all he can to ensure that they also have cause to rejoice with their daughter soon,” a statement from Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, had read.
The Bring Back Back Our Girls movement led by a former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, held a series of protests to demand for her release as well as that of over 100 Chibok schoolgirls who have been in captivity for over 1, 500 days.
Nearly 8,000 Nigerians were tweeting about Sharibu on Tuesday as she was the number trending topic on Twitter and other social media platforms as of 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
Ezekwesili said the government was not taking the matter as seriously as it should because Sharibu, like the other girls, were from poor homes.
She wrote, “Nations are like human organisms. Nations can become diseased. Sadly, a people may not realize how injustice is a disease that eats up nations. A country that handles the abduction of the children of the poor with levity is unjust. What more does President Buhari need to hear?”
A statement by the UK group read in part, “Please join us to pray and protest from 1-1.30pm, the address is: 9 Northumberland Ave, Westminster, London WC2N 5BX. You can still speak up for Leah now. There would also be an event at the US Senate building on Capitol Hill today in Washington.”