Unreleased Dapchi Girl Refused to Denounce Faith
A month after Boko Haram kidnapped 110 girls from their secondary school in the northeastern Nigeria town of Daphi, the terrorists have returned 104 of their victims to the same area where they were seized, leaving one in custody.
According to witnesses, the militants, who were shooting in the air and shouting “God is greatest,” drove the girls in a convoy of nine vehicles and turned them over to the community. The jihadists left Dapchi as soon as they dropped off the schoolgirls.
Five of them reportedly died in captivity as a result of the forced march while trekking to their hiding place, while one—the only Christian among those that were seized—is said to be held captive still because of her religious faith.
“The girls were released around 3:00 a.m. through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country,” Information Minister Lai Mohammed said in a statement on Wednesday.
“For the release to work, the government had a clear understanding that violence and confrontation would not be the way out as it could endanger the lives of the girls, hence a non-violent approach was the preferred option.”
Meanwhile, father of the remaining Dapchi girl, Leah, has praised his 15-year-old daughter for refusing to renounce Christianity for Islam.
Nata Sheribu yesterday told RayPowers’ political platform programme, “Right now, I’m not in Dapchi. I’m in my duty post. I called the parents who are in Dapchi. I was informed that my daughter was not released. All of them have been released but they said some were dead there, but my daughter is alive. They said she was a Christian that’s why they could not release her.
“They said she cannot be released until she becomes a Muslim. And my daughter said she would never be a Muslim.
“I spoke with about five to six of them whose daughters have been released. They are presently with their daughters in Dapchi. They were dropped by the Boko Haram people in Dapchi town this morning.
“I am happy because my daughter did not denounce her faith. They refused to release her because she refused to convert to Islam.”
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