By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
Bishop of Ibadan Diocese, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. (Dr) Joseph Akinfenwa, has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to do whatever it takes to ensure that Leah Sharibu, one of the abducted Dapchi school girls still in Book Haram captivity regains her freedom.
Leah Sharibu, a student of Government Science Technical Secondary School, Dapchi, Yobe State was kidnapped last year by Boko Haram terrorists alongside 111 other girls on February 19, 2018 .She turned 16 on May 14, 2019.
The abduction led to widespread outrage as it was reminiscent of a similar abduction of schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno in 2014.
After weeks of negotiations with the government, the terrorists released 107 of the 113 originally abducted on March 21, 2018.
While five of the remaining six girls were reported to have died while being transported to Boko Haram’s hideout, Sharibu was kept by the militants because she refused demands to renounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam.
Most Rev’d Akinfenwa in an interview with WesternPost correspondent, said the federal government has not done enough to secure Sharibu’s release urging President Buhari and security agencies not to rest on their oars until she is reunited with her family.
“Let’s face fact; it is a big minus for the government. Whatever government must have been able to do, they should have been able to improve on it to secure that one life if they can secure 100 or more . Why can’t they secure this single one? I don’t want to be partisan or partial. Is it because of her religion or what?” He lamented.
“If it were to be somebody from other religion they wouldn’t give up , they should do all they can to secure her release. Whatever it takes – one year on I think if we know the kind of leader we have he is a tireless man. We encourage him to do whatever he can to secure that one life”, he said.
The clergy however, urged the federal government to improve on the security architecture of the country to make the country and it’s citizens safer especially its borders which he said was porous.
“Our borders are porous, people come in and get out at will so much that they are comfortable to be able to do whatever they want to do., when we say we do our censors, do we even know the current number of how many we are in this country? And how many people are foreigners and so on and so forth ?we don’t and that makes it difficult for a government to be able to cope because when you don’t know the number of the people who are your citizens and who are foreigners, you don’t know how to tackle this thing
“Again what is the funding like on security? The next thing to say is what is the state of intelligence in the security operatives? It is almost zero per cent. When we look at all these things and especially funding and the large population and because people come in and go at will ,it is difficult to be able to give adequate security.
“What we should do now is to go back to the very beginning – man our borders, do a different kind of census to know who are Nigerians and those who are not Nigerians to trace everybody. In the North they have what they do in those days. They have Miangua (District Heads) who will know anybody that comes into the district. They have to go back to that.
“We are not talking about politics here but we are talking of what is good for our nation, what can help us, what can secure us. So the problem has been there for long not today. If we want to tackle it we must go back to all these things that I have said. It is a huge problem and it is now not only the problem of Nigeria it is all over the world. Other nations are struggling to tackle their own, we too must struggle to tackle our own honestly not politically , it is not impossible to tackle,” he advised.