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RELIGIOUS clerics in Nigeria have appealed to the abductors of Leah Sharibu to release her without further delay.
The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Northern Nigeria, Reverend Yakubu Pam and the Chief Imam of Apo Legislative Quarters, Sheikh Mohammed Khalid, made the appeal at a press conference on the sidelines of the Interfaith Conference in Abuja on Friday.
Recall that Leah Sharibu was among the over 100 girls abducted by Boko Haram in Dapchi, Yobe State, while other girls were released, Sharibu was held captive by the terrorists because she reportedly refused to denounce Christianity.
“We are here today the two major religions in Nigeria, Christianity and Islam. The leaders are here and traditional rulers are also here to discuss about peace ahead of the 2019 general elections and we also find it very important today to address a burning issue that has been disturbing the peace of the country and that is the issue of the abduction of some of our innocent teenagers and young ladies, particularly Leah Sharibu and others and we have heard what the abductors have said.
“We are here as religious leaders and traditional rulers to appeal to the conscience of the abductors of these innocent girls. I know that the mothers have also cried, the families have cried to the abductors of these innocent girls and well-meaning citizens of Nigeria have also cried. We want to appeal to them, please for the sake of God, let them release these innocent girls. They are very innocent and I believe that by doing this Nigeria will appreciate,” Reverend Pam said.
He called on the abductors of Miss Sharibu to abandon their threat of executing the girl in order to save her family from the agony of losing a child in such a violent circumstance.
“We heard they said next week is their deadline and that is why in this meeting as we are discussing the peace of this country, we felt that it is very important and very paramount to talk about this matter. The mother is in agony, the family is in agony and we are appealing to their conscience. Whatever it is, let them be lenient and also allow God to speak to their heart,” he stated.
Reverend Pam also called on the government to do whatever it can within its powers to ensure Miss Sharibu is safely released and reunited with her family.
In his remarks, the Chief Imam of Apo Legislative Quarters, Sheikh Khalid said the abductors of Miss Sharibu are on their own and they do not represent Islam.
“We are here to speak on behalf of the bodies of the two main religions, Islam and Christianity. We want the world to understand that these people that are holding our children and other people in captivity are not representing anything, they are on their own. Islam is not asking them to abduct anybody and we the Muslims are going to join hands with anybody to do anything possible to secure Nigerians from their agony.
“We are appealing to them to rethink and revisit their minds so that they will release their captives, especially somebody like Leah Sharibu,” Sheikh Khalid said.
He said the abductors of Miss Sharibu have no basis to hold her captive since her colleagues whom they were abducted together were released.
The Islamic cleric, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to do whatever is necessary to secure the release of Miss Sharibu.
“We are appealing to the government to do anything possible to make sure that no Nigerian is in captivity,” he said.