Leah Sharibu came into the limelight after she was held by Boko Haram for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. She was one of the 110 schoolgirls that were abducted on February 19, 2018, from Government Girls’ Science and Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, Bulabulin, Yobe State.
Most of the Dapchi girls were released by the 21st of March, 2018, except Leah Sharibu. Her parents were told that Boko Haram had decided not to release their daughter unless she renounced her Christian faith.
Sadly, since the abduction and release of most of the girls between February and March of 2018, Leah has still not been released from Boko Haram custody. While it seems like the government has not been doing anything to help her cause, Twitter users have refused to stop talking about freeing Leah Sharibu. Subsequently, the hashtag #freeleahsharibu has been trending alongside #leahsharibu.
Here’s what I’ve been angry about:
Leah Sharibu has been abducted for 221 days now.
We as a people haven’t done enough for her return. Leah is one of us.
Please Retweet #FreeLeahSharibu pic.twitter.com/bwam5OhS6H
— Free Leah Sharibu ⚛️ (@elharsh) September 28, 2018
Eventually, the buzz slowed down a bit but for Twitter influencers and activists, Reno Omokri and a host of other concerned Nigerians, the fight to bring back Leah never slowed down.
On May 14, 2019, the world remembered Leah and celebrated her 16th birthday.
This is a timeline of how Twitter has helped keep Leah Sharibu in our hearts since she was abducted.
- From the moment she was taken, People started to Tweet constantly.
— Ayo A.J (@Ayo_Oshiobugie) March 23, 2018
— Shalom Miriam Shehu (@MiriamShehu) July 16, 2018
2) Then Reno Omokri wrote a book on Leah and her struggles titled “Leah Sharibu: The Girl Boko Haram left Behind”.
Leah Sharibu has spent 6 months in captivity for refusing to renounce JESUS CHRIST.
She sacrificed her freedom in defence of her love for him. Something your MCM pastors will never do.
She's an icon & a true Christian #FreeLeahSharibu
— Lérd Chigbo ā (@itschigbo) August 27, 2018
LEAH SHARIBU has been in captivity for 200 days. Whatever was done to get her friends out should be done to get her out ASAP.
— Jack Vince (@Jack_Vince77) September 6, 2018
3) In fact, Reno Omokri almost single-handedly campaigned for Leah’s freedom across the world and as of today had been to 19 countries.
If you are from Imo State, let's gather at #DouglasHouse to ask #Rochas to mould #LeahSharibu
Since our state is renowned for moulding statues, let's rather mould legends.
Leah Sharibu is an ICON of Christianity, we must immortalise her while she yet lives. #FreeLeahSharibu pic.twitter.com/L6hzkxbUmp
— AIKAY (Spectacle)? (@impactor456) December 25, 2018
4) While still in captivity, she won a personality of the year award.
LEAH SHARIBU WINS THE NATION NEWSPAPER'S PERSON OF YEAR 2018 AWARD!!!!! This award is rubbish unless she is released one in captivity can not enjoy any award #FreeLeahSharibu
— Moses (@Moses_4000) January 28, 2019
5) During the elections, it appeared that politicians had forgotten her very existence, but Twitter refused to let this slide and kept talking about her.
In a sane country, this abducted christian girl will be a serious debate & major issue of discussion mostly now politicians are vying for the office of the presidency. But who cares? the little girl is gone and forgotten, that is Nigeria for you. #FreeLeahSharibu#FridayFeeling pic.twitter.com/3UJIJ2cNNn
— Emeka Gift (@EmekaGift) February 1, 2019
6) She is currently a big figure in the Christian world to look up to for her refusal to renounce Christ.
Christians the world over need to know about Leah, a 15 year old still in captivity because she refuses to deny her faith. We need to pray for her release and need to speak out for her. Remember her. #FreeLeahSharibu https://t.co/mlZE8bVIa8
— Vijayesh Lal (@vijayeshl) March 26, 2019
7) Reno Omokri went on Mount Everest to prove that Leah Sharibu was close to God’s heart.
I vowed I would go to Mount Everest, wearing my #FreeLeahSharibu tracksuit, to symbolise the fact that Leah Sharibu is close to God's heart. Well, this morning I fulfilled that vow. Watch and be awed by the highest peak on earth. After here, it is heaven #RenosNuggets pic.twitter.com/QAEwXQQpQa
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) April 11, 2019
8) When things began to look bleak, people kept remembering her on Twitter.
Leah can never be forgotten. She will remain honored in thousands years from today when all the present top personalities will all have faded into thin air. Leah is not in bondage but lives in our beautiful hearts daily, God bless her #FreeLeahSharibu
— Jlosworld (@JlosworldNGO) April 25, 2019
9) The support has not dwindled. However, the noise for her release increased as she turned 16 years old on her 449th day in Boko Haram custody. Twitter took the lead on the conversation.
HBD to you bold, courageous and faithful #LeahSharibu as u turn 16. U have all the reasons on earth to denounce Christ but like Paul the Apostle "..to live's Christ and to die's gain" u echo even from captivity. As d world marks ur birthday I pray that God glorifies Himself in u pic.twitter.com/wAB6QyNrtp
— Don Isip (@IsipDon) May 14, 2019
Dear Leah Sharibu,
My friends, Senators @BenMurrayBruce and Ali Ndume, along with @OfficialBovi and award winning flutist, Tee Mac Omatsola, join me and members of the #RenosNuggets family to say #Happy16THBirthDayLeahSharibu
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) May 14, 2019
History will record that a young daughter of our country #LeahSharibu was left behind when her schoolmates were retrieved from terrorist abduction. She stood unwilling to negotiate her faith for freedom. @MBuhari promised, yet Leah is still with terrorists. She’s 16 today. Tragic pic.twitter.com/ZFkALAzsfi
— Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) May 14, 2019
You are the kid teaching us all how to love God. You are the perfect example of a Christian. My dear #LeahSharibu, in tears, I wish you a Happy Birthday and pray the Almighty comes through for you in His own way. ?? pic.twitter.com/uVvbdjegEq
— Henry Shield (@henryshield) May 14, 2019
Devastatingly, Leah is still being held captive and enslaved by Boko Haram as she is yet to renounce her faith in God. Not much has been heard about her well-being but there is hope that she is still fine. The entire nation is praying with and for her. We hope she returns home safely.