Cherubim & Seraphim Church leaders, under the auspices of the Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to use his good offices to ensure the safe return of Leah Sharibu.
Leah was in 2018 kidnapped by Boko Haram alongside 110 schoolgirls of Secondary School, Dapchi, Borno State.
The C&S leaders, who recalled that Leah’s only offence was refusing to renounce her Christian faith when members of the sect demanded so of her, made the call for her release during a meeting with Buhari in Abuja before the 2019 general elections.
His Most Eminence, Prophet Solomon Alao, who led the group to the Presidential Villa also advised Buhari to sustain the war against corruption.
Alao said, “We anticipate that corruption, which is killing Nigeria may fight back, but you will prevail because the majority of Nigerians are with you.”
Leah has spent over a year in Boko Haram captivity since her abduction.
In April 2018, the Presidency said in a series of tweets by the President’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, “For President Buhari, nothing will be spared in bringing all our girls home. He will not rest until all of them are freed .”
While some 100 of the girls were released following government’s negotiations with the abductors, Leah was kept back because she was said to have refused to renounce her Christian faith for her freedom. Five others died in captivity.
The C&S Church leaders also advised President Buhari to give Nigerians free, fair and violence-free elections in 2019.
The President commended the C&S Unification Church for upholding the administration and the government in prayers, particularly as the general elections approached.
“I am very grateful for this visit,” the President had said. “God will answer our prayers. With your prayers, we will go into the field and be victorious. Your good intentions and prayers are appreciated. This is what is expected of institutions working for God.”
A statement by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, quoted Buhari as saying he was glad that the church lauded the good work being done by the government in the areas of infrastructure, anti-corruption, and security, noting: “It will encourage us to do more. We have no other country than Nigeria, and we must do the best for her. I said it more than a generation ago. Thank you for identifying with our objectives.”
Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the Head of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church, Worldwide Ayo Ni o, Most Reverend (Dr) Prophet Samuel Abidoye, stated, “We came to see our President and to wish him a pleasant 2019. We also came to offer our own suggestions on how to govern the country because if he succeeds, we will all succeed and to offer him our prayers.”
On the advice given to the President, he said “First of all, we are aware that Mr President is very passionate about credible and fair elections, we assured him that we will back him up to that extent.
“We told him to pursue the anti-corruption war vigorously; we assured him that we will back him up on that. Corruption is killing Nigeria and we know that unless we kill corruption very urgently, it will destroy this country. We assured him of our support at all times.
“For the economy of the country to grow, we need to cooperate with the government. For those who feel the golden flee is abroad, there is nothing abroad. Nigeria is the best country anybody can have; we should stay back and salvage it together” he stated
Meanwhile, calls for Leah Sharibu’s safe release have remained unceasing.
Recently, the Christian Association of Nigeria, Northern States Chapter, while congratulating the parents of Zainab Aliyu who was released from Saudi Arabia detention, called on President Buhari to treat all Nigerians equally and ensure the release of Sharibu.
Also, Pope Francis was said to have waded into the case of the abducted schoolgirl by calling the President.
The Catholic Bishop of Nnewi, Most Rev. Hilary Okeke, reportedly gave the hint in Nnewi, Anambra State recently.
He said, “The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria had formally involved the Holy Father, Pope Francis, on the matter.
“The papacy has reached out to President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue. So, we are not relenting.”
The National Assembly, Atiku Abubakar, the #BringBackOurGirls group, the Coalition of Christian Groups for Good-Governance (Nigeria and the Diaspora), Northern Christian Association of Nigeria, and Sharibu’s family, among others, have continued to call for her safe release.
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