By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Nothern States Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to present Leah Sharibu to the Christian community in Nigeria as their Christmas gift by ensuring her release from Boko Haram insurgents’ captivity.
In a Christmas message on Sunday in Kaduna, Chairman of NOSCEF, Mr. Ejoga Inalegwu, said the federal government had the “wherewithal and the competency” to effect the release of the schoolgirl who is being held by Boko Haram insurgents since abduction in 2018.
She was among the 110 students of the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state, who were abducted by the terrorists on February 19, 2018.
Five of the girls died, while 104 were released by the insurgents on March 21, 2018, following negotiations with the federal government.
However, the insurgents refused to release Sharibu for refusing to deny her christian faith and convert to Islam.
Ejoga said the release of Sharibu would be the the most cherished Christmas gift for Christians in Nigeria.
“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” Ejoga said.
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.
He noted that Christmas is a message of hope for a people who had lost every hope and a good news to revive the hearts of those in despair.
The NOCEF chairman 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.
According to him, “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.
“Goodness Thomas scored 302 in JAMB and 278 in post JAMB, with 6 A1s, but could not get the course of her choice, because she is a Christian.
“Let the nation cry out against this injustice. The injustice/discrimination that Christians suffer as a way of life, in the north in all spheres, even Christians from educationally disadvantaged states of Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina and other Northern states are denied their state quota admission to read courses of their choice, inspite of their performance, because of their faith.
“Soon, having taken over the headship of the institutions that regulate higher education, they will start targeting the private universities, to frustrate them and will even make “under cover laws”, that even our brethren in the National Assembly will be stampeded to support under the guise of party loyalty e.t.c.
“But no Herod (no man) can stop God from blessing those whom He would bless. He who would not spare His son, Jesus Christ, to die for us, will give us all things.”