The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned that if Leah Sharibu dies in captivity, her death could result in ‘religious war’.
“Leah Sharibu must not die. Her death, God forbids, can spell doom for Nigeria. It can give an open invitation to religious war because Leah is being detained purely because of her religion,” said a spokesman for the CAN President, Adebayo Oladeji, in a statement on Friday 18 May.
Leah Sharibu was kidnapped by the Al Barnawi faction of Boko Haram Islamic terrorist group along with 109 other school girls in Dapchi in February. A federal government negotiation secured the release of 104 other girls but Leah was not released because she refused to Islam during their weeks in captivity, according to her school mates. Five other girls reportedly died during the captivity.
“Recently, CAN called out its members to demand her release. We have addressed a press conference calling for her release. At every opportunity any church leader has to speak to the public, they demand her release,” said Oladeji.
He said the media was not pressing for the release of the 15 year-old Christian girl.
On the same theme, the Pentecostal Christian Association, consisting of evangelical and charismatic ministries, churches and associations, said Leah “has become an ambassador of Christianity to the Republic of Boko Haram and we are demanding that she returns home safely to her parents.”
Bishop Emmah Isong said on behalf of The Fellowship: “All Nigerian youths are waiting to see what the Federal Government will do. Our constitution, which requires the government to be a protector of lives and property, will be called to question if Leah is not released.”