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Free Leah Sharibu, Abducted Aid Workers Now, CAN Tasks President

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to without any further delay, secure the release of Miss Leah Sharibu and Grace Taku, a worker with International aid agency, Action Against Hunger, and five of her colleagues, abducted last week Friday in Borno State by members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

The CAN President, His Eminence, Reverend Dr. Samson Ayokunle, made the call in a statement, yesterday, signed by his Special Assistant, (Media), Pastor Bayo Oladeji, where he declared: “Enough of paying of lips service to the menace of security challenges in the country.”

The challenge thrown to Buhari by CAN was triggered by speculations on Thursday that Sharibu had been killed by her abductors and also by the video of the abducted aid workers released by ISWAP, in which Grace pleaded for their rescue.

Ayokunle said: “The primary duty of any serious government is the security of lives and property of the governed. Any government that cannot guarantee this primary responsibility may lose the confidence of the citizens.” 

He wondered how these six aid workers were abducted without the awareness of the security agencies. “What has become of their intelligence gathering? Are we sure there are no saboteurs among our security agencies? Is there anything the government and the security agencies are doing to stop this menace that we don’t know to avert its negative effect, as some notorious people take laws into their hands? Asked the CAN President.

According to the statement, “CAN has watched a video of Boko Haram terrorists’ camp where Grace Taku appealed to the federal government, CAN, and other well-meaning people to secure their freedom.” 

Ayokunle added: “We have heard the prompt response made by the federal government to the save-our-soul cry of Grace and we join her in calling on President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies, especially the Department of State Security to secure her freedom, and that of Leah Sharibu.

“We urge the federal government to expedite action toward the captives’ release, as in that of the Dapchi girls, except Leah Sharibu. We believe strongly that Leah Sharibu is still alive, hale and hearty and she and others must be set free from captivity.

 “We call on well-meaning people and agencies to join CAN in pleading with our government and the security agencies to wake up from their slumber before it will be too late. Our prayer is that the awesome God will come to the aid of this country. He will free all the captives and comfort all the bereaved of the killings in the country.”

He recalled that sometime in April this year, the Boko Haram sect kidnapped a National Youth Service Corps member, Abraham Amuta and a cleric with Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel), identified as Pastor Moses Oyeleke in Borno State, “and we have not heard anything about their whereabouts.”

He said Grace Taku had cried out on behalf of hostages, like Amuta and Pastor Moses Oyeleke, “before getting too late”.

He further noted: “We have been calling for a total overhaul of the security apparatus of the country; and we have also asked the developed nations to assist Nigeria in combating the challenges before the country becomes unbearable. 

“There is no exaggeration to say Nigerian roads are unsafe as kidnappers, terrorists, killer herdsmen and bandits are operating with impunity.”

Leah Sharibu was one of the 110 schoolgirls kidnapped from Dapchi, Yobe State by Boko Haram on February 19, 2018. She was the only one that the insurgents denied freedom, when the federal government intervened, because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.

Action Against Hunger said in a statement that Grace Taku and the others were abducted last week near the town of Damasak in Bornu State, by ISWAP which released a video of the aid workers in captivity.

The international aid agency confirmed that they had appeared in a video released on Wednesday evening and that they were “apparently in a good condition of health.”

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