By Zikora Onye-Uzor
As we celebrate the epoch-making achievement of the five Anambra girls from Regina Pacies Secondary School Onitsha, who represented Nigeria and Africa at the World Technovation Challenge in the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, US and won the Gold Medal, I remember another equally-talented Nigerian girl who might sadly not attain the full heights of her potential.
Fifteen-year-old Leah Sharibu from Dapchi, Yobe state, North-east Nigeria is still in captivity of Boko Haram terrorists. She was one of the 104 schoolgirls abducted from their school earlier in the year but unlike her colleagues who were released by terrorists in February, after negotiations with the Nigerian government, Leah was left behind because, according to reports from her colleagues, she refuse to denounce her Christian faith.
Leah remains in Boko Haram captivity till today inspite of calls for her release and the government assurance that they are working on getting her back.
Recently, Leah’s academic transcript surfaced online and it testifies to her academic ingenuity with many distinctions and a few credits.
It’s beyond saddening that Leah’s academic pursuit has been decimated with this unfortunate happening but it would be devastating if she never gets the chance to transverse her intellectual treajectory.
As it is, one can only imagine the dehumanising and spirit-wrenching experiences young Leah is going through. One can only hope this doesn’t totally eliminate her spirit and drive for excellence and ambition.
For us to get more girls doiung great exploits for Nigeria, none must be left behind or denied the freedom to explore; especially Leah.
Zikora writes from Lagos. She can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org