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Leah Sharibu’s father: ‘I need my daughter back’

The father of Nigerian schoolgirl Leah Sharibu, who was taken captive by militant Islamist group Boko Haram in 2018, has told the BBC that he just wants her back, amid unconfirmed reports that she has given birth.

“I have nothing to say, I leave everything to God. I only need my daughter, whether she is with baby or she is alone. I need my daughter only, that is what I want,” Nathan Sharibu told BBC Pidgin.

His daughter was kidnapped two years ago along with more than 100 girls from Dapchi town in north-eastern Nigeria.

The others were later freed but she was kept, reportedly because she refused to convert from Christianity to Islam. There are reports that he has given birth to a baby for a Boko Haram commander.

PR Nigeria, an agency that distributes press releases on behalf of security agencies, said Leah “was not forced into marriage but was rather enticed and hypnotised by one of the insurgents’ commanders.”

Her abductors released a 35-second audio recording of her voice in August 2018 in which she called on the government to help her.

The Dapchi incident was similar to the abduction of 276 girls from another north-eastern town of Chibok in 2014, which sparked the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.

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