Nigeria: Leah Sharibu, Chibok Girls - CAN Urges Buhari to Fulfill Promise

(file photo).
19 February 2020

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfill his promise of securing the release of Miss Leah Sharibu, the Chibok school girls and others abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists.

The Director, Legal and Public Affairs of CAN, Evangelist Kwamkur Samuel Vondip, on Wednesday in a statement, said the President should rather fulfill his promises on Boko Haram, rather than repeating such promises.

He also berated the Presidency for warning the residents of Katsina and other states from defending themselves from bandits and kidnappers' attacks.

He said President Buhari reportedly reiterate his promise to secure the release of all persons abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists, especially Miss Leah Sharibu and the Chibok girls, the way he made same promise as part of his campaign promises before the 2015 presidential election.

"When will he do as he has promised repeatedly? It is two years now since that young Christian girl and unarguably, the face of the Church in the country, Miss Leah Sharibu, was captured by Boko Haram along with other colleagues but she is the only one still languishing in the den of her captors as a captive of faith simply because against the pressure from the terrorists, she would not convert to Islam.

"It is disheartening and painful that the government that freed her colleagues has not deemed it fit to secure her freedom, despite the fact that those in government have children or grandchildren of her age coupled with the fact that her father is a serving Police officer.

"The same fate is the sad narrative of the Chibok girls' mass abduction since 2014 after initial freedom of few of them. We commended the government then for securing the freedom of some but since then, the rest have remained in captivity.

"The CAN is deeply saddened by the puzzle of kidnapping, ransom payment and the non-release of Leah, her reported present condition as well as other victims. The unsuccessful effort to free the prisoner of faith by the Federal Government is highly disturbing, disappointing, depressing and unacceptable.

"More so that some abductees and persons kidnapped by the terrorists have had their ransoms paid and freed through the efforts of the Federal Government, relevant security agencies and some international Non-Governmental Organisations," Vondip said.

He also urged the government to stop releasing the Boko Haram terrorists and bandits in the name of their claim of repentance.

He said, "It is like urinating on the graves of those they killed as well as a dirty slap on the faces of the bereaved and a way of weakening the morale of security agents in the battle field.

"Where on earth have they released the captured rebellious soldiers while the war is still raging? Was any armed robber ever released after being caught by the security agents?

"While we commiserate with the people and the governments of Adamawa, Borno, Katsina and Zamfara states over recent attacks on them, we wonder why the presidency would issue warning to armless Katsina communities not to fight back invading murderous bandits who killed and wounded dozens of armless citizens?

"How does that justify the genuineness of the acclaimed fight against insurgency and banditry? When has self-defence become an offence in the country? CAN and its leadership should not be seen as enemies of this government for calling on them to make Nigeria safer and free the captives.

"The government should discountenance the praises heaped upon them by sycophants and political jobbers on this unacceptable security situation and panic in the nation.

"Rather, they should give us no cause to cry for a violence-free society again by restoring peace to all regions of our nation," he added.

Daily Trust reports that it's 2,137 days since over 100 Chibok schoolgirls were abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents, following the massive raid of the girls' school in Chibok town, Borno state in April 2014.

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