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Children’s Day: Remembering Leah, others

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Children’s Day: Remembering Leah, others

It was Children’s Day last weekend and as usual children from all over the country still have fun memories of time spent with friends and families, also with brands who were out to give children a treat.

Schools and event places also had numerous activities to engage children and their parents/guardians. Children are so special. Aren’t they? We love to have them around despite the troubles and headaches they cause us sometimes.

I think of times I have had to scream, stay awake watching my babies sleep on the petit hospital beds I couldn’t share, but bent over to rest my head when I couldn’t stay up any longer….and I wonder what would I give in exchange of all of these? Nothing.

As we celebrate our adorable children, I can’t help but think of mums like myself who for no fault of theirs are not able to share in the joy of this year’s Children’s day.

I think of Mrs. Rabecca Sharibu the mother of our dear Dapchi girl, Leah still in captivity after her schoolmates were release and since reunited with their families. I have wondered how Mrs. Sharibu can sleep at night or even put food into her mouth not knowing if her daughter has any to eat. What a torment.

Yet she must keep hope alive until we have some form of closure. Indeed the Sharibus need us all to be able to keep hope alive particularly when information is not readily available to inspire hope.

And as it happens most times in Nigeria, where events are forgotten so easily and we all just carry on until the next event jolts us back to reality and reminds us of what we had left unattended to. As we celebrate our children, we remember Leah, the girl who faced with the reality of continued detention chose to stand for what she believes. Sometimes standing for what we believe might mean standing alone. And that is the case with Leah Sharibu.

In as much as this might be a very trying period for the Sharibu family, particularly when other girls who faced same situation have since returned home and reunited with their families. We were told some girls lost their lives but she wasn’t among them.

Rather she is being held back for her faith. Though heartbreaking, but it also speaks of the value that has been instilled in her. Yes, Leah might be alone in captivity, and her family in untold pain, the rest of the world stands with a girl only 15, but has shown uncommon courage which other children and the rest of the world should to emulate.

It is my prayer that we would sooner than later celebrate the release of the young girl turned hero! At this time we remember you Leah, we remember Chibok Girls yet to regain their freedom, we remember all other children who have been abducted maybe not in a dramatic manner to attract the world’s attention, and what about children who may still be with their families but have been robbed of normal life, and deprived of the right to basic education because violent attacks have sent them packing from a place they called home, taking shelter in bushes, separated from friends, from school and possibly from a promise of a bright future.

Even more disheartening is the fact that with all the issues the Nigerian child has to grapple with, there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency to give them hope for a brighter future. Can we really say ‘Happy Children’s Day’ to these ones?

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