Two of Nigeria’s largest Christian associations have warned of grave consequences, including an open “religious war,” if a 15-year-old Christian girl kidnapped by Islamic radical group Boko Haram dies in captivity.
“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,” Adebayo Oladeji, special assistant on media and communications to the Christian Association of Nigeria President, said last week.
Sharibu was kidnapped in February in Yobe state along with 110 other schoolgirls in a Boko Haram raid. But while most of the girls were freed, Sharibu was not. The teenager reportedly was offered her freedom in exchange for converting to Islam, but refused.
“Let all and sundry rise up against the failure of the security agencies and ask President Muhammadu Buhari to wake up from his slumber before the terrorists and herdsmen finish the country,” Oladeji said in a statement, according to Daily Post.
Bishop Emmah Isong, national publicity secretary of the Pentecostal Christian Association, echoed the warnings.
“We can tell you that the peace of this country hangs on the Federal Government’s promise to secure the release of Leah Sharibu,” Isong said.
“She has become an ambassador of Christianity to the Republic of Boko Haram and we are demanding that she returns home safely to her parents.
“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.”
Muslim leaders have pushed back against the remarks of the Christian groups.
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Source: Christian Post