Abducted Nigerian schoolgirl Leah Sharibu gives birth to second child while held captive

25 March 2021

The abducted Christian schoolgirl Leah Sharibu has given birth to a second child while held captive by Islamist terror group Boko Haram.

According to reports in Nigeria, Leah, who has been held captive for more than three years, gave birth to the child towards the end of 2020.

Picture of Leah Sharibu
Leah Sharibu was abducted by Boko Haram in 2018. The terrorist group refused to release her because she would not renounce her Christian faith

In January 2020 Leah was reported to have given birth to her first child, after being forced into marriage with a Boko Haram commander.

Leah’s captors will view her as having converted to Islam, because of the Islamic belief that a wife automatically takes the religion of her husband. (For this reason, it is forbidden in Islam for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man.)

Emmanuel Ogebe, convener of the US-Nigeria Law Group, said that the news of a second child came from “a usually knowledgeable source”. 

Leah, who was then 14, was the only Christian among the 110 schoolgirls kidnapped in February 2018 from Government Girls' Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State.

The terrorist group refused to release Leah when the other kidnapped girls were returned to their homes the following month because she had refused to renounce her faith and convert to Islam.

Boko Haram – which can be loosely translated as “Western education is forbidden” – is known to target Christian communities and churches, the Nigerian government and armed forces, and Western-style schools and colleges whether the students are Christian or Muslim. Since 2015 extremist violence perpetrated by Boko Haram and other Islamist groups has killed at least 8,400 Christians in Nigeria.

Related Countries

Nigeria