JUST IN: Hundreds of Christians protest in Kaduna, demand release of Leah Sharibu

Hundreds of Christians gathered in Kaduna State on Tuesday to demand the immediate release of Leah Sharibu, a young schoolgirl still held captive by the Boko Haram terrorist group since 2018. 

The peaceful protest, organized by the Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria, took place at the ECWA Good News Church in Chikun Local Government Area.

Leah Sharibu, along with over 100 other female schoolmates, was abducted from the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State, over a decade ago. 

While some of the girls were later released, Leah remained in captivity due to her refusal to renounce her Christian faith. Despite numerous appeals and international attention, she has yet to be freed.

The protesters, wielding placards bearing messages such as “Free Leah Sharibu and other abducted girls now” and “Education is not a crime,” passionately called upon both the Federal and State Governments to take decisive action to rescue Leah and other abducted schoolchildren still held by terrorists across the northern region.

Addressing the crowd, Rev. Yunusa Nmadu, CEO of the Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria, expressed deep concern over the prolonged captivity of Leah Sharibu and the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria. 

He urged President Bola Tinubu and the government to prioritize the safety of citizens and secure the release of abducted schoolgirls.

His words: “When it started in Chibok, we thought that was the end but it keeps recurring every now and then 10 years after, many schoolgirls are still in captivity and this morning.

“We have all come out to commemorate the 21st birth of Leah Sharibu who has become the face of this campaign and many other campaigns for safe school children. We therefore want to wish her a happy birthday even in captivity.

“But then, we also want to entreat the government that they must do the needful. Nigeria is ebbing out. Nigeria is dying. We are almost surrendering to insecurity and bandits, kidnappers and all sorts of evil people in our land. It is time to stop.

“Our children must go to school. We must stay safe in our homes. Our homes are no longer safe. Our roads are no longer safe. Government must come to terms with what is happening in the country and they must save the lives of the populists.

“We voted you in for security but what we get is insecurity. Therefore, we asked and we spoke this time to the President of the country, Bola Tinubu. Please, up your game, and safe lives. People are dying in their hundreds everydayThis is unacceptable to us as citizens of this country. Security is our right.

“Therefore, we hope that the government will listen and do the needful. Safe our schools. Safe our girls. It is not a crime to go to school and because they have chosen to go school. It is the responsibility of the government to secure our schools and protect the lives and property of the citizens of this country.”

Similarly, Rev. Emmanuel Okunlola, the Secretary of the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), appealed to the government to protect Nigeria and Nigerians in fulfilment of its constitutional responsibility.

According to the CAN’s scribe, Nigeria’s government must rise and expedite actions to rescue Leah Sharibu and other schoolchildren in terrorists’ captivity.

“Nigeria must be protected. Nigeria must be secured. It’s the primary responsibility of the government to protect lives and property.

“Therefore, we call on all state governments, the federal government and the National Security adviser to rise to the occasionsexpedite action on the release of our abducted girls. 

“This is the only thing that will make Nigeria the giant brother of Africa, not in an unsafe environment or unsecured environment. Let the government do the needful so that we can be peaceful in Nigeria,” he said.

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