The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, on Friday expressed its worry over Liya Sharibu, the only Christian girl among them who is still in captivity for refusing to denounce her faith.
President Muhammadu Buhari had said that he would not relent in efforts to bring Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi schoolgirl still in captivity safely back home to her parents.
According to him, Buhari is as committed to the freedom of Sharibu as he was to the girls’ freedom when all 110 were in the captivity of Boko Haram terrorists.
However, the CAN President, Samson Ayokunle, in a statement by his spokesman, Adebayo Oladeji, said the development has again confirmed its position that the primary target of the terrorists are the Nigerian Christians.
The statement read: “We are deeply troubled and disturbed that negotiators brought in by the Federal Government made feeble attempts to secure the release of Liya Sharibu who insisted on not renouncing her faith and converting to Islam, a development that affirmed that Christians are endangered in their own country.
“To us, the development has brought to the fore past incidents in which some Christian girls were kidnapped, forcefully converted to Islam and forced into marriages without the consent of their parents in some states in the North.
“Liya Sharibu is still being kept in the captivity, facing untold psychological trauma and yet the Federal Government was keeping mum until people cried out on the social media as if her life does not amount to anything!
“If she means nothing to the government and the security agency that held the talk with the terrorists, the life of that innocent girl means a lot to her parents and to so many Nigerians, irrespective of their religious affiliations.
“It is more regrettable that the Amnesty International and the military authorities have still not come to terms on the perceived negligence by the security agencies that led to abduction of Dapchi girls, a development we view as a national disgrace especially when we recall the unpatriotic roles some security operatives reportedly played in the abduction of the Chibok girls in 2014.
The body further demanded that Liya Sharibu must be set free to reunite with her parents and that;
“The Federal Government should set up a high power judicial panel to investigate the abduction of the school girls with a view to unmasking those behind the abduction and make them face the full wrath of the law;
“The report of the panel purportedly set up by the Presidency to investigate the abduction should be released immediately to the public;
“The National Assembly should conduct a Public Hearing on the Dapchi abduction saga to expose any cover up;
“The Federal Government should name the five students said to have died while in captivity with compensation paid to the bereaved parents;
“The immediate release of the remaining Chibok girls from the Boko Haram captivity and reunion with their families;
“Total re-organisation of the security agencies aligned with professionalism that will make them respond rapidly to security challenges in any part of the country. We desire a proactive security system.”