CHIBOK: African Apostles, writers call for immediate release of abducted girls

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By SAM EYOBOKA
AN assembly of eminent church leaders from across sub-Sahara Africa, the Council of African Apostles has called for the immediate release of more than 230 school girls of Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State abducted by Boko-Haram, describing the abduction as a deplorable act of terrorism that is affecting innocent lives who had no role whatsoever in the conflict or grievances that the Islamic militant group has against the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Worried by the prolonged search for the 276 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from their Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State on April 14, the Women’s Wing of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has declared Tuesday next week as a day of fasting and prayer.

In a joint press statement signed by the President of the Council of African Apostles, Bishop Tudor Bismark of Zimbabwe, Bishop Mike Okonkwo of Nigeria and Dr. Mensa Otabil of Ghana, the Council stated that, “the abduction and other related callous acts of terror that have been undertaken by Boko Haram in the recent past should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

“The reports that they are being sold off into marriage for $12.00 and that others have died of snake bites only serve to make the call for their urgent return, they should not have been touched by this conflict in the first place,” the document stated.

According to the Council none of the abducted girls have any role in whatever conflict that Boko Haram has against the Federal Government of Nigeria and that, “as a body of believers we uphold and recommit to the principle of diversity, but that diversity cannot lead to divergence that overtakes the sanity of human life”.

It therefore became necessary for the Council of Africa Apostles to join hand with community leaders in Northern Nigeria and other concerned parties to strongly call for the immediate return of the more than 230 girls of Government Girls’ Secondary, Chibok, Borno State in Northern Nigeria.

PFN Women declare fasting and prayer

In a related development the Women’s wing of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria has declared Tuesday next week as a day of fasting and prayer, to assist efforts by the multinational coalition to locate the missing 276 schoolgirls adopted by Boko Haram from their Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok and rescuing them safe and well.

Expressing concern for the welfare of the students abducted from their school by Boko Haram terrorists, since April 14, national leader of the group, Rev. (Mrs) Abiola Omobude wondered why the search for the girls has not yielded results, in the form of much needed rescue.

African writers too

Also, African writers have added their voice to the rescue of the adopted girls, saying African leaders should rise as one to solve the problem and not leave it to Nigeria alone.

Secretary General, Pan African Writers’ Association, (PAWA) Professor Atukwi Okai who made the call during a courtesy visit to Governor Adams Oshiomhole in Benin City, yesterday said: “Let us first of all express on behalf of all the writers of African our heartfelt sympathy for the situation in which our many African girls are being abducted in Chibok School are now in. This situation is not a Nigerian matter. This is an African issue which is why we are calling upon all our African leaders to simply consider the issue of security not only of our continent but also of our people.”

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