Leah Sharibu has been married thrice — Activist
An activist and peace advocate, Gideon Para-Mallam, who has been in touch with Leah Sharibu has said that she was never divorced.
According to him, Leah Sharibu, who has been held captive for five years by Boko Haram, was never divorced but walked away from a forced marriage.
Para-Mallam, however, added that Leah had been married thrice.
The PUNCH reports that there were speculations that Leah Sharibu held by members of Islamic State West Africa Province has “remarried” another terrorist commander, after purportedly securing a divorce from the first ‘husband’ forced on her.
Leah, after the purported divorce from one Abdulrahman, it was alleged, was remarried to another ISWAP commander in the Lake Chad area named Ali Abdallah.
But Para-Mallam, President and CEO of The Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, who has been one of the persistent voices advocating for the freedom of Leah Sharibu, told The PUNCH that he spoke with her parents on Wednesday.
Leah Sharibu was one of the 110 female students of the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, who were abducted on February 19, 2018, by Boko Haram terrorists.
While others were released by the terrorists following negotiations, Leah, then 14 years old, is still being held captive because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.
Para-Mallam told our correspondent that the situation about Leah’s marriage “is not what was dished out to the press as a special news item. It simply is not.”
He said, “What you are describing as the latest report is actually an old piece of news that happened since 2019. Leah was never divorced. Leah walked away from a forced marriage. Can anyone truly describe Leah as being in a true marriage? Leah remains an innocent underaged girl that this nation has woefully failed – not only her but several other girls who were and still are being subjected to inhuman treatment in captivity.
“Leah’s goal is her education which was forcefully truncated. Leah maintained her dignity and refused to renounce her Christian faith and was kept back by forces bent on humiliating her Christian commitment and testimony. Now there’s talk of her converting to Islam. In truth, would someone consider any ‘conversion’ in captivity as a genuine conversion?
“The Nigerian press should remember the pain of several parents including Leah’s parents. I spoke to them yesterday (Wednesday), it’s a lack of sensitivity to publish such stories and make such look like news. It’s bad news. Let me also add that what was described occurred sometime in 2019. There are many Christian girls and to a lesser extent Muslim girls in such captivity.
“Many Christian girls have been forced to convert to Islam. They are wounded internally but they continue to hope in God. They remain Christians at heart. It’s an unjust world where the ‘strong’ brutalise the weak. I will urge prayers and the God of justice will come through for these innocent girls. God is doing it in His own ways. God continues to have the final say.
“Not all should be said in public – out of respect for their safety, security, and sanity. Let those outside not hurt those in such unfortunate situations. Punch