By Sunday Isuwa, Abuja
Christian leaders in Nigeria have condemned the five years detention of a Christian girl, Leah Sharibu who refused to renounce her faith when terrorists invaded their School in Dapchi, Yobe State.
Speaking at a special prayer organised in honour of Leah Sharibu who has spent 5 years in captivity the Christian leaders said Leah did not make a mistake in standing by her faith adding that the Christian community will stand by her.
The Christian leaders who have expressed disappointment over the inability of President Muhammadu Buhari to keep to his promise of releasing the Christian girl, said God will answer their prayers for her release.
Recall that in February 2018, about 110 girls were kidnapped from the Government Girls Science and Technology College, Dapchi, Yobe State by a terrorist group, Boko Haram.
It was reported that the girls were released afterward while Leah Sharibu, was not released for reportedly refusing to denounce Christianity.
During a special prayer event organised at the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Abuja, the CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh said Leah has become, to Christians, a symbol of courage and faith in the face of severe persecution.
Okoh who was represented by Reverend Dr Gideon Para-Mallam said the Christian community has made several appeals both to her captors and the federal government to ensure her safe return all to no avail.
“This year marks 5 years since the horrific event took place and Leah is still in captivity. Leah Sharibu’s case is just one out of the numerous cases of faith-based persecutions going on in Nigeria almost on a daily basis”, he stated.
The CAN President said this anniversary may hopefully move the government to be more committed to securing the release of Leah and other captives alive.
The President of Leadership Empowerment Advocacy Humanitarian (LEAH) Foundation, Dr Gloria Puldu said it is a shame that the government had not rescued Leah Sharibu despite all its promises.
She said Leah Parents are pleading with the international communities and the Nigerian government to ensure the safe return of their daughter.
“It is a shame that 5 years down the lane we are still calling on the government because this is like a broken promise, they have given us a promise 5 years ago that they are going to release Leah, down the lane it has not been fulfilled, they have less than 100 day in office to go, as far as we are concerned, it is a broken promise, but they still have time, they can still get Leah released.
“Her parents is calling on all the people that are involved internationally and locally in our government, that they should please do the needful, they want their daughter back today is a very sad day for them, so we are asking every peace loving person to join us in prayer like we have done today and to pray that the Lord will give the government the wisdom to release Leah”, she stated.
Speaking on his own capacity, Reverend Dr Gideon Para-Mallam, the Founder of Gideon and Funmi Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, said several girls are still in Boko Haram captivity.
He said that if the Present administration fails to rescue Leah Sharibu, they will call on the incoming president to make it a priority to rescue Leah from captivity.
“Advocacy is not a one of thing, we have to sustain efforts in continuing to advocate until Leah Sharibu is out and all other Christian girls who are in Boko Haram captivity, also, beyond the Christian girls that are in captivity, there are also Muslim girls who are in captivity, our objective and goal is to ensure That all are set free.
“As the CAN President said, we have made efforts all to no avail does it m an we should give up? No, it is basically to continue to challenge the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, you has a few more days in the office, fulfill your promise to deliver Leah, we don’t want it to go on record that you never managed to get Leah out, you helped to bring out some of the Chibok girls which we are grateful to and there are more Chibok girls in captivity, Leah is still in captivity, several girls are still in captivity.
“We picked up an information that there are over 96 of some of our girls still in captivity, so we will continue to advocate, plead and make our case to the President, but if he doesn’t do it, we will call on the next president to make bringing Leah back to her parents and other girls in captivity a top priority, make it a surprise gift for all of us in Nigeria”, he noted.
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