Cleric to FG, Nigerians: Leah must not die in captivity


Leah Sharibu, the Dapchi Christian girl in Boko Haram captivity since February must be freed at all costs, a staff of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students(IFES), Rev Gideon Para-Mallam, has appealed.

He told the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians to stop at nothing to secure the release of the 15-year-old girl and others in terrorists’ camp.

Para-Mallam admitted the Federal Government has been doing so much behind the scene but urged that such efforts be intensified for Leah’s release as soon as possible.

The Jos-based preacher told our correspondent however said the government should much more for the release of all abductees.

“Such negotiations are difficult, confusing, convoluted and complicated. It happened during President Jonathan’s time and we just have to pray and trust God for the best outcomes, as it clearly shows that the government does not seem to be getting things on the right track at the moment.

“No one will believe that the government is doing enough if there are no concrete results in securing Leah’s and others release from captivity.”

Expressing pains over the execution of the 24-year-old aid worker Hauwa last week by terrorists, Para-Mallam said government should ensure that was the last of such incident.

He said Leah and other abductees must not be allowed to go through similar treatment.

“That Leah and Alice were left alive is something to thank God for. It also means in some way that Boko Haram is listening and this is where the appeals and advocacy at the local and global levels must continue to the Nigerian Government, the AU, EU and UN to do all they can to secure the release of Leah and other captives.

“Other international bodies need to also support the efforts of the Nigerian government.

“Such negotiations are always done in utmost secrecy or confidentiality, my hope and prayer is that the Government is engaging with the authentic negotiators from the Boko Haram’s side.

“I believe the government needs to do more now, than ever before to secure Leah’s release.”

On the declaration by Boko Haram terrorists that Leah and Alice have been converted to their slaves for life, Para-Mallam urged well-meaning Nigerians to collaborate government’s efforts to secure their release.

“I wish to appeal to well-meaning Nigerians who are open to helping in contributing towards raising funds for the freedom of Leah to take decisive and concrete steps from now.

“I will always like to maintain in prayer and hope that – may Leah’s release lead to the release of other captives: Christians and Muslims alike.

“We must not make the mistake of leaving everything to the government. Governments are human although they like to portray themselves as super humans and almost invincible.

“Governments make mistakes, they engage in missteps and therefore limited in more ways that they care to admit.

“Bravado talks in complex situations such this yields nothing but empty talk which diminishes the credibility of government.”

He asked Nigerians not to stop praying for Leah and Alice’s release, stating “Christians and Muslims, at home and in the diaspora should jointly pray for the freedom of Leah, Alice and others currently in captivity.

“Pointing fingers alone at the government is not enough. Let’s work together. There will always be profiteers in such situations but they can be defeated so that men and women of integrity and work in partnership to see Leah and other captives safely home.”

 The Nation



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