The father of Leah Sharibu, the Christian girl being held by Boko Haram Islamist militants since February has said he is relieved to have heard her voice in a recently released audio recording.
Leah, 15, was one of more than 100 girls kidnapped from the town of Dapchi, in the north-eastern state of Yobe.
While others were released in March, a month after their capture, she was held back for refusing to renounce Christianity and convert to Islam.
Following her plea to President Muhammadu Buhari in an audio recording yesterday, fHer father, Nathan Sharibu, has told BBC Pidgin that the recording has given the family hope.
“I’m really encouraged that I heard the words of my favourite daughter. It really is her voice. Because before I thought she wasn’t even alive,” he said.
In the 35-second audio recording, published by Nigeria’s Cable newspaper on Monday, the 15-year-old called on the government to help her.
Mr Sharibu said the whole family was pleading for the government to do more – as were “Christians and some Muslims that are praying for my daughter”.
“We are very very sad in the family. I hope they will put more pressure concerning her release.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian authorities said the secret service was analysing the recording before action is taken.