The International Day of the Girl Child is being marked this week.
And for Leah Sharibu’s parent, the day will remind them of the peril that their daughter faces since February 19, when she was kidnapped from her school in Dapchi, along with 110 other girls.
While others have been released, Leah’s abductors have refused to free her because she did not renounce her Christian faith.
Her only crime was that she aspired to be educated in a region that is largely educational backward, especially for her kind.
Access to education in northern Nigeria is still alarmingly low. According to a report by Africacheck.org, only four percent of females complete secondary school in northern Nigeria, while two-thirds of girls in the region “are unable to read a sentence compared to less than 10 percent in the South.”
In Yobe state, where Leah comes from, 77.4 percent of girls are not in secondary school. That figure is the third highest in the Northeast region and the fifth highest among the 10 northern states covered in the report.
“The abductions illustrate that Boko Haram remains a menace to swathes of northeast Nigeria,” the International Crisis Group said in a report published in April.
“The kidnappings cast a pall over education, particularly of girls, and thus the prospects for socio-economic development of the region.”
The Nigerian government has promised to see to the rescue of the only Dapchi schoolgirl from her Boko Haram abductors.
A spokesman to President Buhari said in August that the government was concerned about Leah’s plight and would do see to her safe return.
Grab a copy of the Guardian Life Magazine as we question if there is a need for hope or that promise is just a promise.