Archbishop Okoh Pleads for Leah’s release
The Most Reverend Nicholas D. Okoh, Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to make concerted efforts to ensure the release of Leah Sharibu, after the Islamic Boko Haram Jihadi sect threatened to kill her within a month if the government failed to meet its demands on her release.
Okoh, speaking at the Church’s Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday 21 September, at St. Peter’s Cathedral Church, Minna, central Nigeria, once more raised the plight of abducted girls, women and children still held under captivity by the Islamic terrorist groups. “I plead with the government that no sacrifice will be too much to get them out alive else the reverse will be a black spot in our history,” Okoh pleaded.
A video released by the Albarnawi sect of the Boko Haram terrorist group showed the execution of Saifura Khorsa Husseini Ahmed, one of the midwives captured in in Rann, Kala-Balge on March 1 this year. The Islamist said the killing of the nurse was to send “a message of blood.”
“We contacted the government through writing and also sent audio messages but the government have ignored us.” The terrorist added. “The other nurse and midwife will be executed in similar manner in one month, including Leah Sharibu.” The terrorists said in the propaganda video.
Joining the call for the release of Leah is the the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) saying the government must free Leah “before it is too late.” Rev. Samson Ayokunle, CAN president said in Abuja on thursday that the insurgency has made Nigeria “a barbaric nation where value is not attached to human life.” The CAN president added that “It is the constitutional responsibility of government to protect lives and property of the governed.” The Labour congress President, Ayuba Wabba, describing the killing of the ICRC worker as callous and barbaric, said “security forces should also ensure that abducted workers are released to their families unharmed.”
Leah Sharibu is the only Christian girl the Al Barnawi sect of the Islamist Boko Haram has refused to release after a settlement that gained the freedom of 109 other girls kidnapped in Dapchi in February this year.
Hassan John is West Africa editor GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos
Image Credits/Google Images/Nicholas Okoh/Leah Sharibu picture from parents