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Will the Church stand up for Liya Sharibu?

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liya-sharibuI was sad, very sad, when I heard that five of the Dapchi girls died as a result of the trauma caused by their abduction by Boko Haram. This was a needless loss caused by those to whom human life has little or no meaning. People who slaughter fellow human beings cannot be said to be human but, to quote Fela, are nothing but animals in human skin, otherwise called beasts of no gender by the late Afro-beat king.

The celebration of the release and return of the 104 Dapchi girls immediately turned into ashes in my mouth. This is one case where figures do not count – especially for those who lost their daughters. It is not a case of arithmetic where we say since we got a large number of the abducted girls out, then, all is well. We cannot but spare a thought for the families that lost their beloved daughters. In saner climes, the death of just one citizen, especially in an unwholesome and unacceptable circumstance such as this, is not only taken as unacceptable but is equally treated with all the seriousness it deserves. Here, however, political capital is about to be made out of this obvious dereliction of duty by government; those whose irresponsible behaviour, even duplicity and complicity, led to the abduction are getting ready to present themselves as our saviours. Villains are about to act as heroes who brought back our Dapchi girls. This is unacceptable. If they have any sense of shame at all, herding the girls and wheeling them to meet one president anywhere is not the most responsible and reasonable thing to do; but that is what they would have done by the time you are reading this. It is a shame! Acting this way they invite opprobrium not only upon themselves but also upon all of us as we are brought low in the estimation of self-respecting people worldwide. We cannot complain if decent people are aghast and doubt our humanity.

Bad as that is, worse, however, is the information that one of the girls, Liya (Leah) Sharibu, was not released because she refused to deny her faith – Christianity. My head swirled to learn that. A million questions cascaded in my brain. So it is true that Islam is preached by force and Christians are compelled to renounce their faith by force? So all those contrary denials are bunkum and arrant nonsense? So the Boko Haram goal is to cleanse the North of Christians and to forcibly convert? What becomes of all the talk of Islam being a religion of peace and of it being against forcible evangelization? Where are those Muslims making such patently false and outlandish claims? Are they hiding their faces now or will they speak out? Will they dodge, lie low, and expect this unfavourable wind blow over after which they can then continue business as usual? What will happen to Liya? Will they kill her, abuse her, torture her, keep her captive in perpetuity? Shall this little girl live, regain her freedom, and be united with her family? What if she were my daughter or your daughter? We all saw how the First Family fought the battle of their lives as well as dotted over their injured son recently. Will they show a fraction of that care and love for daughter-of-nobody Liya?

Are we going to stand up for this girl or are we going to abandon her to her fate? Will some blame her for being stubborn and for not showing wisdom? How many of the other girls were so forcibly converted? What is the position of Muslim and Christian leaders on this? What is the position of our political leaders as well? Do we worry that Constitutional guarantees of freedom of worship and of faith fly in the face of this vicious and wilful Boko Haram assault? Will Christian leaders speak out or will they play the ostrich as usual? Poor Liya! I don’t know her age but she must be a girl, a teenager possibly, but she has found the heart to do what even adults fear to do! What she is going through is far beyond her age. She is standing by her faith; refusing to deny her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. What many Christians cannot – and will not – do! What has Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, a Provincial Pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God before his election, got to say to this? What will he do for Liya and for the Jesus Christ she has refused to deny? Will Osinbajo stand with her or will he abandon her to her fate? Will all the big-titled General Overseers, Archbishops, Cardinals, Bishops, Apostles, Prophets, Superintendents, and what-have-you stand up and take up the fight or will they keep their heads down and shy away from the fight? This is not about Liya but about what she stands for and what she now represents. It is not about her parents, who are not known and who, obviously, cannot lift a finger in Liya’s defence. This is not about party politics or party affiliation. It is about the sanctity of the right of the individual as enshrined in the Constitution to hold faith without let or hindrance, which every man and woman is expected to defend. For Christians all over the world, regardless of race, tribe, tongue, colour, sect, and political views, this is about our Christian faith; it is about our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Will you deny Him or will you fight His cause?

Address herdsmen crisis

Little Liya has done her bit. They may torture and abuse her. They may even slaughter or tear her into pieces. It does not really matter. She has decided. She has made her choice. It amazes me a little girl found the heart, composition, composure, understanding, intellect, stamina, strength, and, above all, the belief and confidence in her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to do so. I am challenged by this exceptional and extraordinary girl. What becomes of her really does not matter – even if it is the worst in human eyes. For so they did to the apostolic fathers, who were torn, fed to lions, crucified, thrown into boiling oil – but the message of hope God’s enemies desperately tried to suppress not only survived but blossomed to produce the Liyas of this world today. Glory be to the Lord! But this much I know: if Christians and Christianity as we know it today fail to stand up for Liya, then, the fate that befell Christians and Christianity in Turkey awaits Christians and Christianity everywhere, not in northern Nigeria or Nigeria alone. Assailed on one front by Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen on the other, it is not likely Christians and Christianity in northern Nigeria will survive the onslaught for long. Few Fulani honestly want the herdsmen restrained; in same way as few Muslims are averse to Islam’s expansion by force of arms. I have witnessed enough in this country to come to this sad but unavoidable conclusion; still, I stand to be corrected. Should Christians elsewhere think only those of the North are endangered, they are damn wrong. Should they continue to fiddle like Rome’s King Nero while Christians and Christianity are put to the sword in the North, then, certain destruction and eternal damnation will stealthily creep upon them! By the time Christians come to their senses, Islamists could be dipping the Quran in the Atlantic Ocean! But, as they say, if the mountain will not come to Muhammed, Muhammed should go to the mountain. If, for a plethora of self-serving reasons today’s Christians will not stand up for Christ, then, Christ had better began to think of fulfilling His threat of raising up stones to do the needful.

FEEDBACK          

RE: Posers to Nigerians on Muhammadu Buhari

Thanks for your role in speaking our minds in “On the Lord’s Day”. Permit me to extend the last sentence on poser four: We do not need a more qualified running-mate for the devil or Satan incarnate; we need not be afraid of 666 but I am truly afraid of the gullibility of the Nigerian populace and the selling of our birthright as children of God just for a pot of stew.

—0802 226 9809.

 

How I wish you were a member of the so-called National Council of State!  I wonder what the contributions of the members are! Do they only go there to collect what this corrupt government has to offer, hence their inability to speak the truth to the most corrupt leader Nigeria ever had? Nevertheless, you said what these equally corrupt past Nigerian leaders would have said were they honest and bold enough: Lop-sided appointments in all arms of government, including the security agencies, breed monumental insecurity and other problems in this nation. Still, Buhari’s secret agenda is yet to fully detonate. You also really made my day with “Is Wike deserving of his award?” What particularly caught my attention was the last paragraph. Let me add to your list more superlative adjectives of the “badness” of this government as the most clueless, most deceptive, most nepotic, most irresponsible, most repressive, most devastating, most tyrannical, most unsuccessful, most threatened by insecurity, most clannish, most compromised, etc that Nigeria ever had. –Solomon Ajadi

I cannot but doff my hat to you for your intellectualism, wealth of experience, conscience, goodly spirit, etc and for your succinct, pungent, and factual write-ups. High regards and best wishes! Our efforts shall not be in vain! –0806 009 9816.

To buttress your article on Buhari’s loss of integrity; the president disappointed so many Nigerians, including my humble self (but) 2019 is another year of decision for the electorate.

—Yacoob Abiodun

 

Your thesis of 25th February, 2018 is the best among your numerous Sunday super meals I have tasted. I am very worried and surprised about the dismal performance of Buhari; the man that nearly caused me to divorce my wife for her not supporting his ambition in 2015! What a pity to ride a wrong horse! God will protect you! You are a big thorn in their God-forsaken flesh.

—Dr. E.M. Osundare, Ijeda

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