An American Pastor, Abu Zacharia, has offered to submit himself to Boko Haram, so that Leah Sharibu, a girl in the group’s captivity can regain her freedom.
Boko Haram members had in 2018, stormed the Government Girls' Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State where they abducted 110 schoolgirls.
Five of the girls died during the abduction. The sect members released 104 of the schoolgirls and held on to Leah who refused to denounce her Christian faith. She has been in captivity since then.
Zacharia, an American missionary who came in company of an American-based human rights advocate, Barrister Emmanuel Ogebe, said he was making effort to meet with Boko Haram leaders so that they could take him to replace Leah.
Supporting Pastor Zacharia’s intention, Emmanuel said that this week is significant because there are two memorable anniversaries, one being the third year of the abduction of Christian heroine, Leah Sharibu, who was taken from her school in Dapchi on February 19, 2018, and the second being the anniversary of the Agatu Massacre in Benue State L, which occurred in 2016 where over 300 lives were lost.
Meanwhile, Zacharia claims that this is not the first time that he has offered to replace a prisoner.
Zacharia said, “I am here in Nigeria, my third trip in four months, to negotiate the release of Leah Sharibu with Boko Haram. What I'm offering to them is to exchange Leah for myself and I will go into their captivity.
“So that is what I'm planning to do, once they find out that I'm here. I have already had one meeting with a government official, asking his assistance to have a meeting with Boko Haram. Wherever she is, I'm willing to go there and exchange myself.
“The basis of this is John 15:13 in the gospel ‘Greater love has no man than a man lays down his life for his brother and his sister’. So I am here to, with the permission of my wife of 41 years and five children and nine grandchildren, see if I can negotiate her release. And they will release her and take me instead. And that is my goal.
“I have been doing full-time religious freedom work and international Christian humanitarian work in the war-zones. I have been to places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan, Gaza, Sudan, and Cuba, among others.”