Leah Sharibu’s family accuses government of religious bias
• Seeks daughter’s rescue before polls
• CAN, Okogie, others show support
The family of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, yesterday again urged the Federal Government to secure the release of their daughter from the captivity of the Boko Haram sect before Saturday, February 23 presidential election.
The Pastor of the Evangelical Church of West (ECWA), Fidelis Saul, who spoke on behalf of the family in Yola, Adamawa State, expressed regret that the indifference shown in facilitating Leah’s release was a result of her faith.
The cleric accused the government of taking sides, the reason, he said, her release has not been secured.
While stressing that releasing Leah would restore hope to the family, he warned: “If they refuse to release Leah, it’s clear that they are showing us we are nothing in the country.
“I believe that the government is taking sides. This is because Leah is not the only person that was taken away. But why Leah is still being left behind today is because she is always calling Jesus Christ her saviour.
“The government is taking sides, they see Christians as nothing. That is the reason why when we are crying, nobody cares. If the government knows that we are together, they should allow Leah to come back home right now before the elections.”
Leah’s mother, Rebecca Sharibu, said that since the abduction, she had not known peace.The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins, who spoke on the matter admonished the Federal Government to do all it could to safeguard the freedom of Leah, adding that it would mean that the life of every citizen mattered to this administration.
The cleric said since every eligible Nigerian has the right to vote, Leah, who is a prospective voter, should be released in this season.“In fact, we should demand that the Federal Government should do whatever is necessary to ensure the release of Leah. That she is the only one in her group left in captivity should make government want to prove, especially at this election time, that the life of each citizen, prospective voter matters. Leah should be a voter one day.”
President, Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei- Odumakin said: “It’s is sad the government has almost forgotten Leah Sharibu and failed to use the same method they used to secure others for her. She remains a scar on the conscience of our leaders for as long as she remains in captivity.”
Also yesterday, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Samson Ayokunle, lamented that Leah was still in Boko Haram captivity because of her faith.“We at CAN back fully the call for the release of Leah Sharibu, Chibok girls and other people in captivity of Boko Haram insurgents. Remember that Leah was in captivity because of her Christian faith, and we are sad that government negotiated the release of others, and left her behind on account of her faith.”
Archbishop emeritus of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie also noted that it was a shame that Leah Sharibu was still in the captivity of Boko Haram while the others girls were released.“It’s a big shame on the country, out of many hundreds, the government abandoned only one girl because of her faith. Are we not serving the same God, is Allah not God, can’t we reason. Why are we going from bad to worse in this country? Even ordinary election, we couldn’t get it right.”