…She is too young to die in captivity
The President, Christian Association Nigeria (CAN), Rev Dr Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle has called on the Federal Government and all security agencies to free Leah Sharibu and other captives of the Boko Haram terrorists before it is too late since it is their constitutional responsibility to do so.
The cleric who made this call also asked both the religious and political leaders to join hands together with the civil society organisations and international agencies to stop untimely deaths in the country which according to him has given Nigeria a bad name worldwide as a barbaric nation where value is not attached to human life.
Speaking at the flag off of ‘Ecumenism for Development and Peace Initiative'(EDAPI) a non-governmental organisation with a slogan “#…TOO YOUNG TO DIE’ at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso recently, Ayokunle regrets that many Nigerians die untimely due to unchecked murderous activities of gunmen and Fulani herdsmen by the law enforcement agents. This has put sorrow in many people and communities all over the nation, especially, the north. Speaking further he submitted, “It is regrettable that many Nigerians are living in poverty and are not able to fulfil their dreams because of low income or lack of employment at all. Substantial welfare policy as well is not forthcoming from government.
A very sad case is that of Leah Sharibu and the Chibok girls that are still in captivity for months and years now either because of their faith or religious malady of some crazy Islamic fundamentalists. I call on the Federal Government and the security agencies to put their acts together and release all the captives before it is too late. These people are too young to die. It is the constitutional responsibility of government to protect lives and property of the governed.
Speaking further, Ayokunle said, “EDAPI ( non-governmental organisation) observes the happenings in our society and it is out to speak for all those in captivity and communities that are under constant attacks, especially in the north of the country. whereby lives are being lost on daily basis, for decades with impunity. He urged all to therefore join EDAPI to promote this initiative tagged #…too young to die# campaign so as to avert untimely, careless and avoidable deaths. Safe a life today.
“EDAPI says NO to: careless driving, burn out, ethnic violence, rioting, suicide bombing, human trafficking, bloodshed, drug abuse, religious violence, political thuggery, cultism, domestic violence, abortion, alcoholism, ritual killings etc”.
The CAN President who is also the President, the Nigerian Baptist Convention appeals to private and public sectors to embrace EDAPI whose mission is “To improve the well-being and rights of the less privileged through holistic empowerment approach, inter-faith relationships, community mobilization, peace work, reconciliation, research and advocacy for effective and self-driven societal transformation without any form of discrimination.”
In his own remark, the Director of the programme, Rev Dr Testimony Onifade who called on governments, embassies, school campuses, churches and other public and private institutions to join the CAN President in his bid to reduce the menace of untimely death listed in the objectives of EDAPI to Baptist Pastors who gathered for the 120th Anniversary Celebration and 2018 Ministers’ Conference.
According to him, the objectives of EDAPI include:
– Sensitise and equip the grassroots religious actors towards achieving peace and development.
– Mobilise and create strategic drive to strengthen alliance against violence and extremism across age groups; especially youths,communities and religious leaders as a whole.
– Facilitate peaceful coexistence and harmonious relationship through synergy and dialogue.
– Strengthen and assist the needy and less privileged in our society.
– Network and cooperate with other development partners in order to engender sustainable development.
He explained that some of the methods to be used include; Civil leadership training summit, Food security project, networking, Youth development and empowerment, research data collection, monarchs empowerment ministry, community service and rural developments, advocacy on national and social concerns, chaplaincy training and services, too young to die, gerontology ministry, political education and election integrity seminar.
In conclusion, the #…too young to die# campaign do solicit for support of all stakeholders within and outside the country for immediate action. The cry is Leah Sharibu is too young to die in captivity of boko haram; Nigerian youths are too young to continue to die in Mediterranean sea or Libya desert in search for livelihood. Even a seventy years old man is too young to die in the hand of Fulani herdsmen, human traffickers, ritualists, and by medical mismanagement of all sorts. EDAPI will soon launch out this campaign in Lagos, Abuja and other geo- political zones of the country.
Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media &Communications) to the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle.