The family of a teenage Christian girl, Leah Sharibu, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram, Nigeria's northeastern terrorist group, may have given birth to the son of Boko Haram commander and was forced to accept Islam.
However, Dr. Gloria Puldu, a spokesman for the family and lecturer at the University of Jos, considered the report to be nothing more than a rumor.
"I've heard rumors about Leah having a baby boy, but as far as we know, it's just a rumor," he told The Punch.
"All we want is to see evidence that she's alive."
Punch said Sharibu was abducted in February 2018 along with more than 110 other schoolgirls from a school in a Nigerian town called Dapchi. Five girls later died and all the other girls were eventually released, but Sharibu said she had not given up his faith in Jesus and was being held repeatedly by Boko Haram.
"The most important thing for the family of Sharibu, whether the rumors are true or not, is to bring their daughter back to life and if she is alive, we will praise God for it," Puldu said.
They also added that whatever condition she is in, she should be released, and that all we care about is her life and safety, rather than whether she's pregnant or if she's already had a baby.
But Nigerian investigative journalist, Ahmed Salkida, who regularly reports news related to Boko Haram, also confirmed that Sharibu had a baby.
"Sharibu's life is a 'terrible state of constant fear, violence, mental suffering and rape'," Dide Laugeson, executive director of the U.S. private group Save the Persecuted Christians, told CP in an interview.
The SPC is a group that brought Saribu's mother, Rebecca, to Washington D.C. in June last year. She collaborated with Nigeria's International Commission and the Leah Foundation to help free Sharibu.
"I can't forget the stories of Leah and the girls in the missing Chibok girls, and the Christian girls in Pakistan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq who were kidnapped, tortured and killed," Raujenson said.
Meanwhile, Nigeria was ranked the 12th most persecuted country on the Open Doors USA 2020 World Watch List. Few Christians died in Nigeria in 2020, but this was due to Boko Haram's strategy for more kidnappings, the U.S. Open Doors noted.