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Archbishop condemns Nigerian govt over Leah Sharibu's captivity

Thu 18 Jul 2019
By Heather Preston

Archbishop Ben Kwashi has called out the Nigerian government for failing to help Christian captor Leah Sharibu.

The schoolgirl was kidnapped by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, along with 109 other female pupils in February 2018.

Leah has remained in captivity for over a year for refusing to denounce her Christian faith.

 

As persecution towards Christians continues to rise in Nigeria, The Archbishop of Jos, in Plateau state, has spoken out about the lack of progress that has been made to release Miss Sharibu, following promises made by President Buhari to bring her back.

Speaking to Premier, Archbishop Ben said he's concerned that religious persecution is being ignored: "There has been no more news about Leah Sharibu. They have politicised it - in fact, some of the media have said that it wasn't because she's a Christian. But that's not true. It is the three girls who narrated the story of how Leah Sharibu was kept back. They're the ones who first told the world that Leah was kept back because she would not confess the Islamic faith.

He continued: "until truth is told, and until justice is done, it would seem that the poor in this country and especially the poor Christians, who are the majority farmers, are going to be slaughtered every day until God does something."

The GAFCON general secretary has experienced persecution by the Boko Haram first hand and had his life threatened on three occasions.

He said incidents of violence towards Christians by Islamic militants have been allowed to continue for too long and have become a common trend across the country: "It has become fashionable in some places to just kill Christians, and there'll be no case.

Archbishop Ben added: "In fact yesterday, some young men went back to their farms and some Fulani herdsmen attacked them and drove them away and killed them. Nobody would do anything. This the same place where many were killed. Their houses destroyed, church destroyed, schools destroyed, everything destroyed and no arrests, nothing."

He went on to say that persecution is a growing concern in Nigeria for all marginalised groups, not just Christians - as many offenders are not being prosecuted by the authorities.

He said: "You would have thought that this was just a one off, but it's almost like a national calamity, because even the Muslims in the northwest and some parts of the North East have been killed in the same way. It's just unexplainable.

"I don't know how our leaders sleep, believe me. I can't imagine that they would be in power and they have the capacity to protect poor people, and they will not protect poor people. All the protection is on the rich people. I can't understand it."

 

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