North’s Christian leaders, under the auspices of Northern States Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF), have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to present missing Dapchi schoolgirl Leah Sharibu as Christmas gift to the Christian community.
The Forum argued that the Federal Government has the “wherewithal and the competency” to effect the release of Miss Sharibu, who has been held by the Boko Haram insurgents since abduction in 2018.
In a Christmas message issued in Kaduna on Sunday by its Chairman, Ejoga Inalegwu, NOSCEF said Sharibu’s release would be the most cherished gift for Christians in the country.
Leah Sharibu was among the 110 students of the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, who were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists on February 19, last year.
It was reported that, five of the girls died, 104 were released by the insurgents on March 21, 2018, following negotiations with the Federal Government. But, Sharibu was held back by her captors because of an alleged refusal to deny the Christian faith.
Ejoga said: “We plead with the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to give the Christian community of this great nation, the Christmas gift by ensuring the release of our dear child, Leah Sharibu, from the brutal custody of the Boko Haram.
“We believe the government has the wherewithal and competency to effect her release.”
He also lamented the state of the nation, saying that Nigerians “are heartbroken because leaders have abandoned God and every godly value that makes a nation great.”
Noting that Christmas is a message of hope for a people who had lost every hope and good news to revive the hearts of those in despair, the NOCEF chair said: “Our hearts bleed for our nation, a nation that has abandoned God and every godly value.
“We call evil good and good evil, we congratulate those who steal the mandate of the people by the barrel of the gun and intimidation, we have forgotten the values of the leaders of the Yar’Adua fame, who could look at victory to its face and say ‘the means that brought me to power is flawed’. Those from whom we expect a higher standard, are the first to congratulate a stolen mandate.
“Every local government election is now won 100 per cent by the party in power in the state. Those who are advocating that INEC takes over local government elections will now be chewing their words because with INEC, we see elections stolen by guns and lives lost.”
He called on men and women of conscience to cry out loud so that the situation does not deteriorate further.
Ejoga said: “Dishonesty in government escalates crime and criminality. Let the spirit of Christmas revive our ways to ways of godliness.
“Let us pray that God will bring hope and righteousness to the state of despair and hopelessness in the nation.
“May the Lord flush out unrighteousness of state organs, so that the rich (the wise men) and the poor (the homeless Shepherds) will have access to the blessings of God to our nation Nigeria.
He condemned discrimination in the admission process, saying that merit should be the only criteria guiding admission into institutions of higher learning.