I am pained church leaders are not marching for Leah’s release, says Ogundipe
As the fresh protest against the continued detention of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, entered its second day in Abuja yesterday, presiding shepherd of the Celestial Church of Christ Genesis Global, Prophet Israel Oladele Ogundipe, has challenged leaders of the Christian faith in the country to embark on a protest march in the nation’s capital to press for the release of Leah Sharibu, abducted Dapchi schoolgirl.
Sharibu, who on May 14, marked her 16th birthday and second birthday in captivity, was among the 112 girls kidnapped from their school, Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, by Boko Haram insurgents on February 19, 2018. While her colleagues were released a month later, she was left behind for reportedly not converting to Islam.
The Lagos-based cleric yesterday lamented that respected church leaders were not doing enough to the pressure the Federal Government in securing her release. Speaking yesterday during a send-forth service for 10 young players of the Genesis Football Academy to tournament in Manchester, United Kingdom, Ogundipe said: “I am pained that Leah Sharibu has spent over 500 days in captivity, yet leading church leaders are quiet.
“I am pained that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) are not in Abuja, marching for the release of Leah. So much energy has been dissipated in recent weeks over the COZA controversy but no word is being said about Leah, who did what many pastors cannot do. In the face of AK-47, she didn’t deny Jesus. Now is when our voices should be strong in pressing for her release and not be competing among ourselves who is building the biggest cathedral in town.”
Speaking on the church’s football academy, which was started in March 2018, the prophet said he is investing massively in building men and raising future stars rather than building big churches.
“We started the academy and began picking kids from the streets at no cost to them. Today, 10 of them are traveling to UK for an experience of their lives. This is besides the 10 people we would be sending to South Korea to learn how to manufacture solar gadgets and inverters.”