Stakeholders from the Catholic Church and non-governmental organizations yesterday called on the federal government to ensure the freedom of Dapchi schoogirl, Leah Sharibu, abducted by Boko Haram three years ago.
They also asked government and Nigerians to re-evaluate the country’s value system. Delivering a speech at a seminar to mark this year’s Feast of All Saints, founder of an NGO that cares for the needy, Charilove Foundation, Chris Omusi, said: “The Leah Sharibu case is an eloquent testimony to the pitiable moral and spiritual state of Nigeria today, especially as it pertains to the rating of the leadership.
‘’That innocent and saintly girl has continued for years to languish in captivity, tortured and forced against her sensitive conscience to undergo a living that is diametrically against the virtuous life and everything she had hoped for.
‘’Such can never happen in any country where the leadership is humane. That the Nigerian leadership at all levels and sectors are able to carry on business as usual, as if nothing has happened, presents the Nigerian authorities as people without conscience and without souls.’’
He carpeted the current generation of leaders who he accused of upgrading mediocrity, immorality as a standard in the country.
He said: “If Nigeria must make progress as one indivisible entity, it certainly must change its present yardstick for determining those it gives places of honour and respect.
‘’We must find ways to get the people and governments of Nigeria, especially the religious groups to start recognizing and specially celebrating only the virtuous and the upright, especially those suffering persecution and deprivations as a result of their faithfulness.
“The youths are placed in a state of predicament. It has become increasingly hard for most of them to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong. The outgoing generation must take full responsibility for this ugly situation.’’
The guest lecturer, Rev Fr. Evaristus Abu, lamented that everything in Nigeria had been reduced by how much money was involved, while the Catholic Archbishop of Benin Diocese His Grace, Dr Augustine Akubeze commended the initiative of the annual festival by the Foundation.
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