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CSOs demand urgent release of Leah Sharibu, other Boko Haram captives

*clamour for peace in Nigeria

A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria has called on the federal government and security agencies to immediately rescue and release the Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, the remaining Chibok girls and other persons in Boko Haram captivity.

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The coalition which consists of Catalyst for Global Peace and Justice Initiative (CPJ), the Citizens Monitoring Group (CMG) and the Committee for the Defence of Human Right (CDHR) made the call at a peaceful protest organised in Lagos at the weekend.

The protest themed: “The Clarion Call: Not Forgotten, Not Forsaken”, according to the CSOs, focused on the need to rescue alive children and other people in terrorists’ captives including Miss. Sharibu and the remaining Chibok girls. It also involved an advocacy to stop all killings in all regions of the country.

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Addressing the protesters, the CPJ team lead, Rev. Abraham Sam Aiyedogbon, urged Nigerians not to relent in making their voices audible until the government rescued all those in Boko Haram and kidnappers’ den and begin to make things right in the country.

He said CPJ with all its partners will continue to make efforts in ensuring that justice is served for the people that were killed in Boko Haram attacks throughout the country while also demanding the immediate release of those in captivities alive.

Rev. Aiyedogbon who also doubles as the Senior Pastor, Realm of Glory Church, said it is time for the church to rise and assume the role of a civil society and get more involved with governance by participating actively in the affairs of the country and refusing to keep quiet and watch.

Also speaking at the event, Charles Oputa (a.k.a. Charly Boy) charged the youths to reinforce excellence and not redundancy in the governance of Nigeria by voting reputable candidates come 2019 general elections.

“The future of Nigeria lies in the hands of excellent and exceptional Nigerian youths and not the old politicians,” he said.

Also commenting, the team lead of Citizens Monitoring Group (CMG), Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam, called on the government to be decisive in action by rescuing all those in Boko Haram captivity as well as put an end to incessant killings across the country.

“The churches in the Middle-belt, Northeast, and other parts of Northern Nigeria are suffocating right now. Where are the Christians and Muslims in government and the public square?

“Africa arise because the challenges of Nigeria today easily become Africa’s huge pitfalls tomorrow. Let us unite as Nigerians and save our nation and Africa from continuous blood sheds and prevent future rivers of blood! Enough is Enough! Let us get Nigeria on track one’s again,” Rev. Para-Mallam said.

In her remarks, the co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement, Aisha Yesufu, expressed her displeasure on how girls are being molested in the country with particular reference to Ochayan, a thirteen year old girl who was raped to death by her own uncle and cousin.

She urged the government to do more in ensuring the safety of all Nigerians especially the poor and the vulnerable.

She said the citizens should be treated as stakeholders in the affairs of the government because the citizens occupy important position in governance.

The president of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Mr. Malachy Ugwummadu, also admonished the government to ensure that the rights of citizens are protected by ensuring continuous inclusion of all citizens in governance.

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