By Sam Eyoboka
THE Sharibus, the family of Leah Sharibu, marked their first Christmas festivity without their daughter in sorrow. Their 15-year old daughter, Leah who should have shared Christmas meal with her family in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State, is still in captivity.
Leah is the only one out of the 110 girls abducted by a faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), at the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, on February 19, 2018, who is still in captivity. She was held back by the terrorists for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.
The absence of the star of the family removed the joy associated with the celebration, according to the head of the family, Mr Nathan Sharibu, who has not seen his only daughter for the past 309 days by Christmas Day.
When asked how they marked the birth of Jesus Christ, he said: “My Christmas was very sad, very very sad. My wife and our son came to spend the holidays with me in Yola and we were together here. To answer your question, our Christmas was very sad because of the absence of my daughter.”
Continuing, Mr. Sharibu said they were alone during the celebration because the pastor of his ECWA church in Yola travelled on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, saying that they managed to eat to keep their bodies and souls together without much visitors.
“We have to eat to encourage ourselves since we have not heard anything from any quarters as to when our daughter will be released to join the rest of us. This is the first time we are spending Christmas without Leah,” he said, adding that there is much confusion among the family as the days turn to months unending.
In a similar vein, the mother of Leah, Mrs Rebecca Sharibu, told Vanguard, yesterday, that she had joined her husband in Yola where the family celebrated the first Christmas without the accomplished chorister of the family who should have treated them to a medley of Christmas charols on the occasion.
“To tell the truth, we all felt bad that we are marking Christmas without Leah. This is the first time this is happening and you can imagine how we feel,” she said with a withdrawn voice, adding that the remaining members of the family just managed to mark the birth of Jesus Christ.
“It was a quiet Christmas with my husband and our son, who is on holidays. Nobody is talking to us any longer. We are just believing God to give our daughter a miraculous deliverance. You know every day we are just hoping that God will surprise us and we will hear a knock on our door and Leah will just walk into my warm embrace. That’s my daily prayer now and I strongly believe, He will not disappoint us,” the soft-spoken mother prayed.