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Bishops worldwide warn against harassment of Ezekwesili, demand release of school-girls

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The Supreme Council of Bishops, also known as World Council of Bishops, has warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration against further harassment of the Chief Campaigner of the BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) movement, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, and her partners.

In a statement by the council, the clerics noted that Ezekwesili had many times been harassed by security operatives in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) while demanding the release of the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in Chibok, Borno State and the lone Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, who had been kept away from her home for months by the terrorists for refusing to convert to Islam.

The statement, which was endorsed by the Supreme Council of Bishops, the Global Advisory Board, the Global Council of Apostolic Nuncio(s), the Prelate and deputies across all seven continents of the world, the Central Executive Council Globally, all Regional and National Prelates Worldwide and the General Assembly Worldwide, therefore, demanded that the girls be immediately released and returned to their families.

The bishops, while also reacting to the current travail of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and other members of the National Assembly in the hands of the Executive, said: “It has come to our notice how distinguished members of Nigeria’s National Assembly are being openly ridiculed by law enforcement personnel, and the Nigeria Police Force, thereby making an open mockery of the hollowed and exalted office of a senator as a member of the Senate, coupled with unceremonious lifting and taking of Nigeria’s Senate mace, a symbol of the legislative powers of the National Assembly, without bringing to book or justice its offenders, and the like.

“Members of Nigeria’s National Assembly, the senators and members of the House of Representatives from these troubled states like Adamawa, Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kaduna and the like must provide avenues of interactions with their constituents with a view to finding a lasting solution via provision of communal securities under the watchful care of their traditional rulers and village heads to safeguard the lives and property of their subjects, morally, financially and administratively.”

Meanwhile, the religious leaders called on all the clergy and Christians, adherents of other religions, and traditional institutions in Nigeria, heads of foreign governments, the Nigerian civil societies, the humanitarian agencies and organisations and workers, the labour unions and their leadership, non-governmental organisations, multilateral and inter-governmental bodies globally, to stand united and speak out as one voice.They said the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) must remain indivisibly united and the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria arm that seceded must return.


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