Christian Youths Demand Immediate Release Of Leah. The southern Youth Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) yesterday pleaded with the Federal Government and the security agencies to adopt all necessary measures to ensure the immediate release of Leah Sharibu from Boko Haram’s captivity.
Their appeal came simultaneously with one the abductee’s father, Nata Sharibu, sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to accelerate efforts towards securing her freedom.
Sharibu was abducted along with 110 other female pupils of a secondary school in Dapchi, Yobe State, last month.
But while the other abductees were released by the terror sect, Sharibu was not, because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.
President of Southern YOWICAN, Mr. Oluchukwu Nnabugwu, said yesterday in a statement that “religion is a personal decision and should not be a determining factor for the safety of anyone in the country as being imposed by the Islamic group, Boko Haram.”
He enjoined the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to demand the release of the names of the five girls that reportedly died in captivity, adding that compensation should be paid to the bereaved parents.
Barrister Nnabugwu also condemned what he called politicization of the abduction and release of the innocent Dapchi schoolgirls, calling on the Federal Government to set up a high power judicial panel to investigate the abduction of the schoolgirls with a view to unmasking those behind the heinous crime and make them face the full wrath of the law.
He urged all Christians to pray for the safety of Sharibu while praying for a “miraculous shake up in Boko Haram camps that will truly decimate their terrorist activities.”
In a pasionate appeal to President Buhari yesterday, Leah’s father urged the President to accelerate efforts towards ensuring the freedom of Leah.
Speaking with one of our correspondents in Abuja in a brief telephone interview facilitated by the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement, Leah’s father and and her pastor, Rev. Daniel Auta, who presides over the ECWA Church that Leah’s family attends in Dapchi, expressed appreciation to all Nigerians who have stood by them since Leah’s abduction.
Leah was abducted by members of Boko Haram along with other girls from Government Science Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State on February 19.
On March 21 when other abductees were returned to the town, it was discovered that five of the girls had lost their lives in captivity while Leah remained in Boko Haram captivity because she refused to renounce Christianity and convert to Islam.
Her father, Nata, whose name is a corrupted form of Nathaniel, said it had been a long period of worsening anxiety for the family.
He said: “I am very grateful to all churches and indeed all Nigerians who are supporting us with their prayers.
“I appreciate all that they and the government are doing.
“I am pleading with the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to please do their very possible best to help secure the release of my girl in good time.”
Her church’s pastor, Auta, said Leah’s ordeal had further united the Christians and Moslems in Dapchi as they have all continued in steadfast prayers for her safe release.
Auta said: “All over Dapchi, we have all been organising prayer sessions. All the churches in Dapchi are praying.
“We initially did three days of prayer and fasting.
“After that, we organised special prayers and fasted for three more days, which was concluded on Wednesday.
“Still, we have continued to pray in our various houses.”
According to Rev. Auta, while people all over the world are identifying with them on Leah’s situation, every parent in Dapchi feels the pain of the teenage girl’s abduction.
“Every parent, every house in Dapchi has been praying for Leah.
“We have also been praying for the parents and family of Leah for divine support and encouragement.
“The Muslims in Dapchi have been encouraging and supporting us consistently with prayers on this issue.
“We have always been living in cordial relationship here in Dapchi as there is no problem whatsoever between Christians and Muslims in the town.
“We know that people all over the world are very anxious about this girl.
“We are hopeful that God would touch the heart of those holding her,” Rev. Auta said.