An American religious-rights group is calling on Nigeria to help free a 15-year-old Christian girl kidnapped and enslaved by the Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram.
The American Center for Law and Justice has written to Nigerian ambassador Sylvanus Adiewere Nsofar on behalf of Leah Sharibu.
Sharibu was among 100 girls abducted by Boko Haram in February 2018 from a girls’ boarding school. Five of the girls were killed by the Muslims, and another 104 eventually were released.
But Boko Harm still holds Sharibu prisoner “because she refuses to bend to Boko Haram’s demands that she renounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam,” ACLJ wrote.
Since 2011, ACLJ pointed out, Boko Haram has killed more than 37,500 people, displaced 2.4 million and created 228,000 refugees.
“Those responsible need to be brought to justice,” the letter said.
The group Christian Solidarity Worldwide has warned that Boko Haram has been executing its prisoners.
CSW said the al Barnawi faction of Boko Haram executed the second of three female humanitarian workers it seized in March. The terrorist group declared the remaining health-care worker and Sharibu will be slaves for the rest of their lives.
CSW said it was midwife Hauwa Mohammed Liman, 25, who was working for the International Committee of the Red Cross and had been seized March 1, who was brutally killed.
She had been seized along with fellow ICRC worker and midwife Saifura Husseini Ahmed, 25, who previously was executed, and nurse Alice Loksha Ngaddah, a UNICEF employee.
A Nigerian newspaper, The Cable, was sent a video of Liman’s execution, CSW said.
“The terrorists also declared that from that day onwards the remaining hostages, Alice Ndaggah, a mother of two, and Leah Sharibu, were their slaves and that ‘it is now lawful for us to do whatever we want with them,'” CSW said.
Mervyn Thomas, CSW’s founder and chief executive, condemned the executions of the Red Cross workers.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Hauwa Liman, whose pain is unimaginable. We condemn this cowardly execution in the strongest terms,” he said. “It is senseless, inhumane and cannot be justified on any grounds, let alone religious ones. Ms Liman merely sought to improve the lives of vulnerable female IDPs, yet her life, like Saifura Ahmed’s, was cut short by what is in reality a death cult.
Thomas said it is “deeply disturbing that Leah Sharibu and Alice Ngaddah remain in the hands of this profoundly nefarious sect.”
“We appeal to the government of Nigeria once again to do everything in its power to expedite the release of Ms Ngaddah, Ms Sharibu and the 112 remaining Chibok girls, and to ensure the armed forces are fully equipped to address this insurgency. We also urge the church worldwide to continue in earnest prayer until all of Boko Haram’s captives are set free,” he said.
ACLJ said it has submitted the details of the threats against the teen Christian to the United Nations.
“Now, there are reports that Boko Haram has issued an ultimatum by threatening that if their demands are not met they will kill Leah – this month,” ACLJ said.
“Time is running out. It is imperative for the government of Nigeria to work quickly to bring Leah home safely. Action must be taken now before it is too late.”
The death toll, ACLJ said, has reached “catastrophic proportions in Nigeria,” since “the nation’s leaders seem, unable or unwilling to stop bloodthirsty Islamic radicals targeting Christians.”
“Leah Sharibu’s captors – Boko Haram – are responsible for the slaughter of countless innocent Christians as well. We told you how they posed as preachers to lure Christian believers to a church service where they were callously massacred,” ACLJ said.
Christians in Nigeria, the group warned, “could soon be extinct.”