Long In Captivity: Leah Sharibu, Others Must Not Be Abandoned – Adewale Martins

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Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos

By Odinaka Uruakpa

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure it secures the release of Leah Sharibu and others who were abducted by the Boko Haram sect.

Martins who gave this charge In a press release signed by Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu, Director of Social Communications, Catholic archdiocese of Lagos, appealed to government not to abandon Leah in the hands of insurgents who abducted her alongside other students, exactly three years ago, in 2018.

The Archbishop noted that the inability of government to secure Leah’s release, coupled with recent increase in cases of kidnapping and armed banditry, was regrettable and unjustifiable, in view of the financial and material resources being expended to wage war against all forms of insecurity in the country.

Said he: “It is sad to note that a whole three years has passed by since Leah Sharibu, a Christian student of the Government Science Secondary School, Dapchi, Yunusari Local Government Area of Yobe State was abducted from her school premises along with other girls and has since been in incarceration.

“The Federal Government did promise, as a matter of priority, to ensure her release. Unfortunately, she along with others are still languishing in the hands of their abductors till date. We have been told that several efforts have been made to ensure her release, but we are yet to see them materialize.

“One can only imagine the severe physical, emotional, and psychological torture she and her parents have been going through all these years. We are therefore appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to do all in his power as the Commander-in -Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, the one from whom all other security agencies take their orders, to secure her release and those of other abducted students and unite them once again to their already distraught families.”

“The inability of government to secure Leah’s release, coupled with the recent increase in cases of kidnapping and armed banditry, across the country, the most recent being the abduction of over 40 students and four teachers in a boys’ secondary school in Niger State is regrettable and unjustifiable, in view of the enormous financial and material resources being expended to wage war against insurgency and all forms of insecurity in the country.

Archbishop Martins also insisted that government owes the Sharibu family, and indeed, all Nigerians the duty to not only secure Leah’s release, as well as that of other abducted students, but to also put a lasting end to insecurity in the country.

Said he: “Government owes Liah Sharibu’s family, and indeed, all Nigerians the duty to not only secure Leah’s release, and that of other abducted students, but to also put a lasting end to all forms of insecurity in the country; be it kidnapping, abduction, cattle rustling and killing of innocent citizens by herders.

While congratulating the newly appointed Service Chiefs, the Archbishop reminded them of the enormous responsibility ahead of them, especially the need to win back the confidence of Nigerians in the military.

He urged the Service Chiefs to take the fight against insurgency to a higher level, by buoying the morale of the officers and men of the force, and also, to employ sophisticated intelligence techniques to identify and further decimate the Boko Haram sect and bandits terrorizing the country.

It would be recalled that Leah Sharibu, a Christian was among the 110 female students of Government Science Secondary School, Dapchi, Yunusari Local Government Area of Yobe State that were abducted from their school premises by Boko Haram members on February 19, 2018. Leah’s case, in particular, attracted unprecedented local and global attention, owing to the fact that others were released while she was detained for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

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