Leah must not be forgotten, says Archbishop Martins

By Chidiogo Asierika

Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev Alfred Adewale Martins, has called on Nigerians not to forget Leah Sharibu, the young lady who is in Boko Haram captivity due to her faith.

Martins, in a Press Release signed by the Acting Director of Social Communications, Rev Fr Anthony Godonu, singled out the plight of Leah Sharibu, a young Christian girl who has remained, for over two years, in the hands of her Boko Haram abductors, saying her continuous incarceration remains a sore point in the celebration of the yuletide.

While calling on all Nigerians to remember her as well as others who are in captivity, either of Boko Haram or kidnappers in their prayers, he implored President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently work on fulfilling his promise of effecting the release of the young Leah Sharibu so that she can be reunited with her family and loved ones as soon as possible.

“It is very sad that Leah Sharibu is still in detention for over two years for the single reason that she refused to jettison her Christian faith. It is a thing of pain, not only for her parents but for most people especially because of the values she represents: loyalty to faith, dependability, focus and maturity. It leaves a sour taste in the mouth and a dark mark on the celebration when one realizes that she may not be able to join her family to celebrate Christmas again this year. All people of goodwill must keep on insisting that this girl must not be forgotten, we must continue to put her matter on the front burner.

“Our government must never forget that until she is released, the whole country is on tenterhooks. I want to appeal to the President, in particular, to do all he can to bring back Leah so that she can be reunited with her family once again.”

On the issue of a perceived agenda for the Islamization of the country, Archbishop Martins, argues that the onus is on government to disabuse the minds of people if there
is indeed no such agenda.

“The allegation that there is an agenda for the Islamization of Nigeria that is being played out by the present administration has been a recurring one for a while now. Government officials have always denied this and have even gone further to say it is not possible. However, the truth of the matter is that some actions and appointments of government as well as utterances of some government officials leave people with the impression that there is some truth in the allegation.

“It therefore behoves government to disabuse the minds of the people not just by words but by clear actions to reassure Nigerians. For instance, if the head of the National Assembly, the Judiciary and the Executive are all of the same religion, it makes people nervous especially since the balance that we have
experienced in past governments seems to have been jettisoned.

If you couple that with the statement credited to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the head of the Judiciary, that the constitution of the country should be amended to so that more elements of the sharia law can be included, one cannot but conclude that indeed there is an Islamization agenda.

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