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Northern CAN flays embassy official for accusing Leah Sharibu’s mother

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[FILES] Madam Rebecca Sharibu, mother of Leah Sharibu, sobs while at a press conference.


Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 Northern states and Abuja have condemned the statement by the Nigerian embassy in Washington D.C., accusing Mrs. Rebecca Sharibu, and three others of making false claims against the federal government.

Vice chairman of Northern CAN, Rev. Joseph Hayab, stated in Kaduna that the embassy had protested against a recent event in the U.S. capital by Heritage Foundation, where some victims of terrorism and farmers/herders conflict in northern Nigeria reportedly made false claims against the federal government.

According to Hayab, the Heritage Foundation had on June 11, 2019, invited Rebecca Sharibu (mother of Leah Sharibu), Alheri Bawa Magaji and Napoleon Adamu, victims of violence and insecurity, to Washington D.C. to share their experiences.

“The Nigerian embassy, in the protest letter signed by Senior Counsellor/Head of Chancery to the Ambassador to the U.S., Mohammed Suleiman, claimed that the four victims, including Rebecca, whose daughter, Leah, is still being held captive by Boko Haram terrorists, gave ‘false and uncorroborated allegations about their experiences’ at the event,” Suleiman had said.

But Hayab described the embassy statement as insensitive, inhuman and irresponsible, urging the federal government to “sanction the embassy staff who made the statement and apologise to Mrs. Sharibu and others for saying their painful experiences were false.”Hayab said for the past one year, Leah’s mother had been in ceaseless pain and trauma, crying for help for the release of her daughter, stressing that such utterance could only come from people without human feelings.

He also called on government to do everything possible to ensure the release of Leah. The Christian body added that Nigerians were aware that the terrorists released other girls were abducted with Leah, but refused to release her because she refused to convert to Islam.

“How could any humane and sensible person describe such experience as false? This is a woman that has been crying for the release of her daughter. What we expect from that embassy staff is to console her, to calm her down and assure her that government was doing everything to get her daughter,” Hayab said.

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