Leah Sharibu: CAN congratulates, appeals to Buhari to make release priority

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The Christian Association of Nigeria has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari over his victory at the last presidential election and appealed to him to do all within his power to free Leah Sharibu by according her release as top priority.

The Christian umbrella body point out that such action would confer greater credibility on the government and the President as a person.

The CAN President, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, made the call during a closed door meeting on Friday with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said “More importantly Sir, we solicit passionately for deliberate and relentless effort to free Leah Sharibu and other Chibok girls from captivity. Each passing day inflicts anguish in the hearts of the parents of this young girl, the rest of us who are parents, all Nigerians and others all over the world who love freedom and regret that Leah’s life is being wasted in captivity for no sin of hers other than for her religion.

“Doing all within you to free Leah Sharibu and according it top priority, shall confer greater credibility on your government and on you as a person.

“Please and please, Mr. President, let Leah Sharibu and those in captivity of insurgents be freed to enjoy their lives.”

The group also sought an end to insurgency, ethnic violence, kidnapping, herdsmen’s atrocities in the country.

The Christian umbrella body also charged the president to go beyond party politics and embrace all Nigerians irrespective of party ideology.

According to a copy of the presentation to the President made available to journalists, the group also called on Buhari to appoint worthy Nigerians from across the country in next cabinet.

Ayokunle said that the group was at the Presidential Villa to congratulate the President on his reelection as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He said; “Your Excellency, our advice to you is to take your leadership beyond party politics. We were so happy listening to your Speech after your re-election that you were going to run an all-inclusive government.

“Having been re-elected President, you have become the President of all. In view of this, we urge you to see yourself as father to all by embracing all.

“We solicit for inclusiveness and fairness as you constitute your cabinet and appoint worthy Nigerians to the headship and membership of critical agencies, boards and parastatals,” he said.

He pointed out that there is no ethnic or religious group in Nigeria where highly qualified men and women cannot be found to add value to the incoming administration.

“This is the true and objective way in which you can give all in the country, a sense of belonging,” he said.

He also urged for respect for separation of powers as stipulated in the 1999 constitution.

“We, from the Christian Association of Nigeria, recognize the importance of the National Assembly to the stability and growth of our polity. It is in this regard that we call for ethnic and religious balance with depth in picking the leadership of that great institution of democracy.

“Sir, to ensure that this happens is to remove any apprehension and suspicion harbored towards the leadership of this country. We equally solicit that the principle of separation of power as it is enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would be allowed to thrive as an intrinsic aspect of modern day democracy,” he added.

The group commended the President for the revival of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC).

He added, “And the sincere efforts of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in ensuring that your passion to build peace through NIREC becomes a reality.

“We assure you of our determination to build peace, harmony and unity in our nation as we constantly dialogue with other religious groups in our nation.” he said.

He said “Additionally sir, while we are thanking you for all your efforts at putting an end to bloodshed in the nation, we urge you to task the security agents to be more alive to their responsibilities by putting an end to insurgency, ethnic violence, kidnapping and herdsmen’s atrocities prevalent in our nation.

“Today, the Northwest of Nigeria which used to be peaceful is also witnessing violent activities. The unnecessary killings in Kaduna and the detention of some leaders of Ajara Chiefdom in Kaduna State since January should be addressed without delay to douse all tensions.

“All efforts today by all of us should be geared towards forgiving one another and reconciling with one another.” he stated.

Congratulating the President, he said, “This delegation has come on behalf of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (the largest Christian Association in Africa) to congratulate you for victory and for being declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the just concluded 2019 Presidential Election in our nation.

“Our prayer for you is that God shall grant you everything it takes to perform hundred times better than your first term. We pray that your administration would lead Nigeria to become the glory and pride of the nations in Africa and a country many people would desire to be, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

“Please count on this organization as one that has the success of your administration at heart. In that respect, we would not cease in praying for you and speaking out about what is expected to be done from time to time in keeping with the Bible, the word of God.

“We wish you once again greater strides in your governance of this nation and pray that there would be peace and prosperity in our land in Jesus’ name.”

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