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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
Civic Rights …

LEAH SHARIBU: IS IT A HOPELESS CASE?

The continued detention of Leah Sharibu who was supposedly detained by the Boko Haram sect because she refused to denounce her religion (Christianity) should not be easily forgotten like that.  What is the federal government doing to see to the immediate release of Leah?  Are we saying it is no longer safe to practice Christianity in Nigeria?  How are we sure the poor girl has not been brain washed through fetish means?  What physical condition of health is she facing right now? How are we sure it will still be the original Leah Sharibu that will be released to the public when she is eventually released? Think of the trauma the parents are facing right now.  Nigeria is certainly a desecrated land where sins thrive with impunity.  The blood of innocent children are been wasted just like that without any justification.  It has been an anxious and indeed painful wait for the release of Leah Sharibu who is one of the 110 students abducted from Government Girls Technical Science College, Dapchi, Yobe State by Boko Haram on February 19, 2018.

Do you know that Leah's mother, Rebecca Sharibu was said to have fainted after receiving the news that her first child and only daughter was not among those released. With tears streaming down her cheeks, she had pleaded with the Boko Haram members to release her only daughter.  Is it her fault that she is a Christian? Everyone chooses the path of faith he or she has chosen in worshipping God. There is no way one could be forced to do what he or she does not know or understand. It is not possible. Nigerian government must do all within its powers to bring back Leah. The Federal Government should immediately kick-start the process of her rescue or release. For instance, the Nigerian Senate had while commending the Federal Government for the release of most of the Dapchi school girls demanded that all the security agencies must do their best to see that Leah was immediately rescued. And with the Buhari government so far failing to secure the release of Leah, the hope of seeing and reuniting Leah with her parents and the general public in particular is diminishing fast.

The trauma is worse when you realize that all her mates have now resumed school. Actually, the pain began on February 19, when the men of Boko Haram marched unchallenged to abduct the school girls the same way they did the Chibok girls in 2014. One would have expected that the pain would ease with the news of the release of 104 or 105 or 106 of the girls (as the total number has kept changing from 110 to 112 to 113). But alas, the way the release happened with the Boko Haram insurgents marching unhindered as heroes into the town to drop the girls as they took them out, created doubts in one's mind and certainly in the minds of several other Nigerians. Was this a stage-managed abduction and release? One Nigerian called it Nollywood movie and was asking when Part 2 would be released.  It is difficult to believe that this was not stage-managed; it is difficult to erase the sneaky feeling from one's mind. Then when the news came that five of the girls had died may be through trauma and fear and one girl was kept back because she refused to deny her faith in The Lord Jesus Christ, then one's pain is expected to turn into anger.

When the Minister of Information & Culture, began to explain what happened it became glaringly clear that the case was well planned. The Government negotiated with the insurgents. The insurgents had agreed with the Federal Government that while negotiations were going on, they would not kidnap anybody. Then it became a 'moral burden' for the insurgents and so they changed their minds so that they could maintain their 'integrity' as morally upright group and decided to release the girls unconditionally. Then the military was cleared from the way to allow the insurgents march triumphantly into Dapchi, addressed the waiting crowd, dropped the girls all in hijab carrying decent luggages as if they were returning from holidays abroad and went back to their base as if nothing had happened. The girls looked neat and well looked after and many seemed happy. Then the next day, it was announced that Nigeria had entered into a truce with the insurgents. When actually did the truce start? All these cock'n'bull stories actually increased the doubts about the sincerity of the government in this issue. What really is going on here? Are we still dealing with terrorists or a band of freedom fighters? This government is certainly not telling us all that we need to know.

Nigerians are really troubled by many unanswered questions. The first is what were the religious affiliations of the 111 girls before they were abducted? We hear that Leah was kept back because she refused to convert to Islam? The second question is how many of the girls who were Christians were compelled to convert to Islam for fear of their lives? The truth is that only less than 5 per cent of those with Christian names will refuse to deny their fate when faced with an AK 47 or a threat to slit their throats.  The narrative has been as if Leah was the only Christian in the midst of the 113 girls. This may not be so. The third question is, what was the religious affiliations of the five students who died by trauma? Is there any possibility that this trauma had anything to do with the religious persuasions of the girls? The fourth question is: Were the bodies of the five killed by 'trauma' released to the Federal Government? Was an autopsy carried out to determine the cause of death? The fifth is what are the names of the dead girls and what are the names of their parents? Another troubling question that has refused to go is 'could this be the real reason for the existence of the Boko Haram group?'

Can we recollect that when they started out, their focus was on churches? It was after they found that there were no more churches within their reach that they turned to other subjects including mosques. They hate 'the book', the Holy Bible.  Could it be that was all they set out to achieve? Abduct the girls, get them converted to Islam and return them to school? These are just nagging questions. The questions are much more germane when we note according to the government, that the girls were released without preconditions. Refusing to release a captive based on her religious faith in my reasoning, is a precondition for crying out loud. So the captives were released with at least one precondition: If you are a Muslim or you accept to convert to Islam, then you are free to go home, if not, you would be held back.

If the lives of Christians were as important as those of Muslims, then our government-nominated and approved negotiators should not have accepted the precondition. It should have been all or none. Give us back all our girls or we take them back. The apparent weakness shown by the government in this so-called negotiation is outstandingly baffling. As a Christian, I really worry that this government can easily give me up because of my religious beliefs. And this is why Nigerians should not celebrate the return of the released girls until Leah Sharibu returns home. Injury to one is injury to all. Leah is a true child of God who knows that we should not fear those who only kill the flesh rather we should fear God who will kill both flesh and soul. Leah has proven that what Daniel, Meshack Shadrack, and Abednego did especially during the reign of the wicked Assyrian King Nebuchadenezar where they refused to deny their faith, preferring rather to be eaten by lions or consumed by fire, is reproducible today. As God delivered them because of their faith, so will He deliver our lovely daughter of Zion, Leah, and bring her  home hale, hearty and healthy. May God save Leah  Sharibu  from the hands of the Boko Haram sect. Amen!!!

 


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