Catholic Church urges President Buhari to secure Leah Sharibu’s release
Nigerian Catholics are calling on the President to treat the kidnapped Christian girl’s case as a matter of urgency.
Miss Sharibu, the kidnapped Christian Dapchi schoolgirl was held back by Boko Haram terrorists for refusing to denounce her faith.
Vanguard reports that the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) has issued a statement pleading with the Buhari-led administration to ensure the young girl’s freedom.
In the statement, issued to journalists in Abuja on March 28, 2018, by Secretary-General of CSN, Rev Fr. Ralph Madu, the Catholic Community reminded the president of his responsibility to ensure the safety of all Nigerians.
It read: “The story of Leah Sharibu is indeed a mixed story of faith, as well as a sad commentary on how religion has often been used as a tool of division by many for their own selfish purposes. The 15-year old Leah has indeed become a symbol of the sufferings, persecutions, challenges, and intimidations Christians face daily in Nigeria for expressing their faith, especially in public.
“We use this medium to appeal to the Federal Government to go the extra miles in re-negotiating the unconditional release of Leah without further delay. We must remember that this is a secular country and the government has the responsibility of ensuring the safety of every Nigerian irrespective of religious, political and ethnic differences.
“At the long run, everyone in Nigeria, both Christians and Muslims alike, have much to learn from a deeply courageous 15-year-old Christian girl from Dapchi about what it means to be loyal to one’s faith and to be faithful to one’s God even in the face of adversity.”
Referring to Miss Sharibu’s parents, Rev Madu said, “This exemplary family life should be a lesson worthy of emulation by all Nigerian families and communities irrespective of religious affinity.”
CAN weighs in on Dapchi girl
The Christian Association of Nigeria also has issued a call for prayers concerning the freedom of Sharibu.
In a statement public, the President of CAN, Dr. Samson Ayokunle urged Christians and churches to intercede for the young girl on Good Friday, March 30, 2018.
He said, “Following the trials, Jesus Christ, though sinless, was scourged by the Roman soldiers, and then forced to carry His own instrument of execution (the Cross) through the streets of Jerusalem along what is known as the Way of Sorrow.
“Jesus was then crucified at Golgotha on the day before the Sabbath, was buried and remained in the tomb until Sunday, the day after the Sabbath, and then gloriously resurrected. It is referred to as the Passion Week because, in that time, Jesus Christ truly revealed His passion for us in the suffering He willingly went through on our behalf.
“What should our attitude be during the Passion Week? We should be passionate in our worship of Jesus and in our proclamation of His Gospel! As He suffered for us, so should we be willing to suffer for the cause of following Him and proclaiming the message of His death and resurrection.
“It is in the light of this, that the leadership of CAN is calling on every Christian nationwide to stand in the gap for that innocent girl, Leah Sharibu, at 12 noon on Good Friday, asking God to send His angels to deliver her from captivity as He did for Apostle Peter who was jailed unjustly.”
110 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants from Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School in Dapchi, Bursari, Yobe on Monday, February 19, 2018.
104 schoolgirls and two unidentified hostages were released on March 21, 2018.
The 15-year-old Sharibu was told she was going nowhere for refusing to convert to Islam.
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