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23 Mar 2018

Catholic Bishop Reacts To Refusal Of Boko Haram To Release Christian Girl

A Catholic Bishop has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to do all that is possible for the release of the Christian girl in Boko Haram captivity.
Leah Sharibu
Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to facilitate the release of Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi school girl yet to be released by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The Cleric made the appeal on Friday while commending the Federal Government on the release of 104 other female students.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 110 female students from Government Girls Science and Technical College (GGSTC) in Dapchi, Yobe were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents on Feb. 19.

The insurgents released 104 of them to their families and school authorities on March 21 after they had spent one month and two days with their abductors.

They, however, kept Leah Sharibu in their captivity alleging that she refused to convert from Christianity to Islam.

Badejo told NAN that the Federal Government would be restoring its confidence among Nigerians by facilitating the release of Leah from the Boko Haram’s captivity.

“The biggest litmus test for President Buhari and the APC government in this Dapchi-girls saga is the case of Leah Sharibu, the only kidnapped Dapchi girl yet to be released by Boko Haram.

“Leah, on the evidence of her colleagues was not freed because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.

“Anyone who thinks this is just a Christian problem will be making a big mistake,’’ he said.

Badejo said that Christians would not be happy by any encroachment on Leah’s fundamental human rights.

He said that Christians would be proud of the faith of Leah who had dared Boko Haram terrorists; though feared by many Nigerians.

“No amount of accolades will suffice to congratulate the girl and her parents who nurtured her to be that strong in her faith as to demonstrate such courage.’’

The prelate charged Nigerians to rise up, pray and take every necessary action that could lead to Leah’s release.

He also appealed to the international community to assist the Federal Government to secure the release of Leah from Boko Haram’s captivity.

The bishop, however, commended the Federal Government on the release of 104 out of the 110 kidnapped girls.

He urged the government to take the security of its citizens as a priority as he condoled with the parents of the five students that died while in their abductors’ captivity.

“The over 100 Dapchi girls kidnapped by Boko Haram have been returned to great rejoicing from every coast. There is however more than a touch of lament and sadness for five of the girls who died during captivity.

“May God rest their souls in perfect peace and console all who are thus bereaved. Amen.

“Even as we all rejoice at the release of the Dapchi girls, it must be admitted that the continuing loss of lives and property of innocent Nigerian is tragic,’’ he said.

NAN also reports that in 2014, during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, the Boko Haram insurgents abducted 276 female students from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State and took them to Sambisa Forest.

Some 57 of them managed to escape months after then, while others are still with their abductors.

- NAN

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