A woman who identifies herself as a Christian aid worker is seen on a proof-of-life video that is circulating on social media. Grace Taku says she and five other aid workers were abducted by a Boko Haram-affiliated group as they were traveling home from work last week. On the video, Taku claims Leah Sharibu is dead. However, the video has not been verified by the Nigerian government and Sharibu’s mother is not convinced her daughter is dead.
“We, along with other observers, find the claim highly incredulous,” a spokesperson for Open Doors, an organization that monitors worldwide Christian persecution and has a field team in Nigeria, says. “Grace is clearly traumatized and under immense pressure as she tries to relay a lot of information.”
Additionally, the Nigerian government has released a statement about the video, in which it neither confirms nor denies the statement that Leah Sharibu has been killed. The office of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari says they are currently in contact with the captors to negotiate the aid workers’ release. The statement also mentions Sharibu, saying: “On Leah Sahribu…aside from the captured aid workers, there has been engagement with the insurgents to free her, a religious leader and all other abducted persons.”
Leah Sharibu, Others Not Released
Taku says she is a Christian and works for Action Against Hunger, an international non-governmental organization working in Borno State, Nigeria.
The following is a transcript of the statement Grace made on the video, which has been circulating widely on the internet:
My name is Grace, I work with Action Against Hunger, an NGO in Borno State; my base is Damasak. We went to work on Thursday, July 18, 2019. On our way back to Damasak by Keneri/Chamba ward, we were caught by an army called the Kaliphas and they brought us here. We don’t know where we are.
I want to beg the Christian Association of Nigeria because I am the only Christian among the six of us here. I want to beg CAN to please do something about me to see how I can be released. I call on Borno State.
I beg Action Against Hunger. We have families, some of us have children. We are Nigerians who are working for Nigerians. I am begging please, I am begging again; please do something to see that we are released because this has happened in the Red Cross before where some ladies were caught, Hauwa and Zipporah. They also asked to be released but because of Nigeria did not do anything about it, they were killed.
I am begging on behalf of all of us. I don’t want such to happen to us and it also happened again with Leah and Alice, because Nigeria could not do anything about them, they were not released they were also killed.
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Source: Church Leaders