· Urges pastors world over to pray for her freedom
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye yesterday asked the federal government to ensure the immediate release of Leah Sharibu from the captivity of Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist organisation based in northeastern Nigeria
Adeboye, a former university teacher, has also issued a fresh directive to all pastors of the church across the world “not to stop, but to intensify their prayers” for Leah’s release.
He made these calls in a statement he issued on Friday as a coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of #The FreeLeahSharibu campaign marked three years of Leah’s abduction.
Leah, a student of Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, was kidnapped alongside 111 girls by Boko Haram insurgents on February 19, 2018.
The girls were subsequently released, except five who reportedly died in captivity. However, Leah was kept in captivity for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.
In his Friday statement, Adeboye urged all pastors in the RCCG as well as all well-meaning people all over the world to intensify their prayers and efforts towards the release of Leah.
The cleric said: “I, hereby again, call and direct all pastors in the Redeemed Christian Church of God all over the world, not to stop but intensify their prayers for the release of Leah Sharibu.”
Adeboye charged every parent and people of goodwill all over the world to use whatever influence they have to ensure that Leah Sharibu as well as other children in captivity are released without any further delay.”
Like Adeboye, the Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Mathew Kukah urged the church, parents and Nigerians to pray for a safe return of Leah.
Kukah said it “has been three years now since our beloved daughter, Leah Sharibu was abducted. Then as now, we still demand and we pray for her safe return. Amen.”
Also in a viral video on Friday, the founder of the Free Leah Sharibu movement, Pastor Reno Omokri called for the release of Leah Sharibu and also urged people to join the call for her freedom.
Omokri said: “It had been three years since Leah Sharibu was abducted by Boko Haram on February 19, 2018. I have gone round the world, 35 countries to be exact, meeting world leaders and appealing for her release.
“We launched the #FreeLeahSharibu T-shirt to raise awareness for Leah’s freedom. Leah, if you are watching this, you have not been forgotten. I cannot wait for you to be released.
“What message are we sending to our children and the world at large – that we are a nation of anything goes? I add my voice. If you do not think that our children deserve this fate, then Leah certainly does not!
“Let us all rise up and remind our government that they all swore a solemn oath to protect lives and property as enshrined in the constitution. We expect no less from them then and today.”
Also, a former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi called for the release of Leah while praying that the grace of God always be with her wherever she might be.
Obi, the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general election, said: “Leah, I am thinking about you. I am praying for you and by the grace of God and prayers of all the good people, you will be free one day. Free Leah Sharibu!
In his own contribution, a lawmaker representing Borno South, Senator Ali Ndume said, “I am a Muslim but I join my friend Reno Omokri in praying for your freedom.”