By Ambassador Lilian ONOH.

​Sunday, 19th February 2023 marked 5 years since Leah Sharibu, only 14 years old, was kidnapped along with other schoolgirls from her school in Dapchi,  Yobe State.  One girl, whose name has not even been accorded the simple respect of identification, died.  The other girls were released a month later after enduring trauma nobody would wish on their worst enemy.  

But Leah was kept back because she would not renounce our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and submit to forced conversion to Islam.  


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In 2019, the President promised to ensure her release if re-elected.  Much like his first promise to only contest for one term in 2015 and instantly decimate Boko Haram with his former military experience, this promise faded away as soon as elections were over.  

Throughout this campaign, I have not heard any candidate mention Leah or the remaining Chibok girls or the hundreds of Christian girls that Boko Haram, Bandits, Herdsmen etc have kidnapped for no other purpose than to convert them to sex slaves.  There were even some teenage Igbo girls that the DSS in Imo State admitted to keeping in captivity because their parents were alleged to be members of IPOB with disturbing reports of what befell those young children in DSS custody!

Even more distressing is the fact that as a body, the Christian community in Nigeria has failed in its duty to keep Leah and the other girls in constant prayer as mandated in the Bible.  I know the number of churches I have repeatedly asked to mention her as a part of Sunday prayer announcements but time and time again, I  have received a lukewarm response at best.  

We preach about an Angel releasing St. Peter from prison the night before his execution because of the fervent prayers of the brethren yet we don’t pray for Leah, our own daughter held by rapists for five years because of her faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, whilst the Government pretends that she and the remaining Chibok girls are “married” to their rapists – as if they would accept their own daughters getting “married” in the same manner.

But as we remain complacent about God’s children in Captivity, God’s wrath has remained on us.  A simple look at the timeline of the kidnap of these girls, especially the last five years since Leah’s kidnap, will show the blindest person that God is offended with Nigeria.  While some think her continued captivity is a sign that God is silent, the very opposite is the case. Without realising it, we are already collectively judged for touching this Apple of God’s eye and have been paying the price of God’s wrath for this abomination as a country.  There is nobody in Nigeria that is not affected.   A cursory reading of the Book of Kings and Chronicles in the Bible will help anybody doubting that Nigeria is under God’s wrath to understand Nigeria’s situation.  

​But whilst everyone is under collective wrath, my prayer is for the special visitation of the Lord of Hosts on anybody knowingly complicit in this abomination; and that the special judgment He metes out on them be unlike anything we have ever seen before or at the very least, equal His judgment on Herod in the Book of Acts.  

On Saturday 25th February, as Nigerians who have not succumbed to hunger from lack of cash go to vote, I ask each and every voter to remember Leah and the other captives and ask yourself a simple question: “if Leah was me/my daughter/sister/niece, how would I vote?”

Take a hard look at the antecedents of all the candidates and their deputies and their roles in the nightmare Nigeria finds itself in and ask yourself which of them kept any part of the promises they made in the past.  Ask about their respective reactions to the murder of Deborah Samuels in Sokoto last year.  About how they previously governed.  What they did about the Chibok girls.  Ask yourself which of these candidates is more likely to make an effort to release Leah and the other captive girls.  Then vote.

Because no matter who wins the election, as long as these girls remain in captivity and we remain silent, Nigeria’s descent to Hell on Earth will continue.  ©19/02/2023.

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