Unite, Act to Free Leah Sharibu: Nigerian Christian Leader to International Community

On the third anniversary of the abduction of the Nigerian Christian schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, a Christian leader in the West African nation has appealed for “intentional concerted efforts” across borders to demand for her release. 

On 19 February 2018, Boko Haram terrorist group attacked the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College (GGSTC), Dapachi in Nigeria’s Yobe State, abducting 110 schoolgirls, among them, 14-year-old Leah Sharibu

While most of the girls were released the following month, on 10 March 2018, Leah did not regain her freedom for reportedly refusing to convert to Islam. Five other girls reportedly died while in captivity.

In an interview with the Pontifical charity organization, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, the President of the Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, Pastor Gideon Para-Mallam, says that there is a need for “intentional concerted efforts both local and global to secure her release at the earliest time possible.”

“Arise, citizens of the world, and break the wall of silence and cry out for the release of Leah Sharibu!” Rev. Para-Mallam says in the report ACN leadership shared with ACI Africa Wednesday, February 24. 


He continues, “Challenge your government to use their power and diplomatic channels to raise Leah’s issue with our President and the relevant structures of power in Nigeria to act in order to free Leah and others in captivity.” 

“This is not only about Leah Sharibu, but our shared humanity,” the Nigerian Pastor emphasizes. 

Last year, local media reported that Leah converted to Islam before being married off to one of the Boko Haram commanders. 

In the interview with ACN, Pastor Para-Mallam says that an eyewitness confirmed to him “privately” that Leah converted to Islam. 

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However, the Pastor questions Leah’s conversion saying, “Would forced conversion to Islam in captivity be considered a willing conversion?” 

“Do not forget that Leah was held back in the first place because she decided at the young age of 14 to remain true to her Christian conviction,” he adds. 

Rev. Para-Mallam also calls on the people of God to pray for the “heroine of the Christian faith … to remain steadfast in her faith in Christ even at this dark hour when the trial of her faith is being stretched to limits that even adults won’t easily face.”  

On February 20, Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins of Nigeria’s Lagos Archdiocese called on President Muhammadu Buhari to “do all in his power as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, the one from whom all other security agencies take their orders, to secure her release.”


Archbishop Adewale also called on the Nigerian government to work towards the release of other abducted students in the West African country.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.