Within the next few hours, Christians and other well-wishers will be raising their voices in prayer to God and marching for abducted heroine of faith, Leah Sharibu, even as a musical video by renowned Christian artist, Panam Percy Paul, began trending on social media.
Leah on Tuesday marks her 16th birthday anniversary and 449th day in captivity in the hands of a faction of Boko Haram insurgents.
Two more cities: Yola in Adamawa State and Port Harcourt in Rivers State are the latest entrants of cities where many are expected to march in solidarity and pray for Leah, the 112 Chibok girls, and many in captivity.
Other organisations, according to one of the co-ordinators of the event, Rev. Gideon Para-Malam, have bought into the event.
Said he: “After our first invitation, several people responded with calls and great encouragement from across the country and overseas regarding marking her birthday.
“CAN National Secretariat through the National President have graciously permitted us to use the National Christian Centre for the Prayer event. This is highly commendable.
“We once again urge people to turn out and provide support and solidarity to honour Leah’s testimony of faith and resilience. Please come out to join in the prayer and peaceful march on Tues. May 14th
“We also have three additional Partnering Foundations which have joined us in organizing these Events:
1. Panam Music World
2. John Praise Foundation for Human Development
3. Prof. Mercy Ade-Davies International Foundation
“We also now have two additional Cities:
1. Yola – Unity Chapel.
Adasolid Estate, Opp. FRSC, Numan Road, Kofare.
Jimeta – Yola
Pastor Zidon: 08081919000
2. Port Harcourt –
Date: Mon 13th
@ Cornerstone Christian Foundation, Manila Pepple St by JAMB office off Fruit Market, D/Line, Port Harcourt. 5pm.
Contact: Sis Carol 08081739960
“There may be others doing different events, videos, songs etc in honour of Leah. May God answer our prayers and solidarity with Leah.”
In a tweet last Saturday following the release of over 800 child soldiers, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar posted: “I welcome the release of 894 child soldiers. It is my hope that this will lead to the release of all others in captivity including Leah Sharibu.
“It is also my hope that steps will be taken to give these youngsters the needed support for reintegration.”
Last Sunday, Leah’s father, Nathaniel, told Nigeria Everyday that the fate of his daughter was “beyond expectation”.
“It is very, very sad; it is very, very sad; it is beyond expectation”, he said with a heavy, but stentorian voice.
Leah was one of 106 girls abducted from the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, 15 months ago. While others were freed, Leah, the only Christian among the students, has remained in captivity because she would not renounce her faith in Jesus Christ for freedom.
Another group of mostly Christian girls, numbering over 110, from another Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno Stats are still held by another faction of the same Boko Haram insurgents five years on.
Many others are believed to be in captivity to insurgents and bandits.
Last month, President Muhammadu Buhari reminded the parents of the school girls of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State that he has still not forgotten their daughters who were kidnapped from their dormitory five years ago.
A statement from the President’s office had said on Leah: “On Leah Sharibu’s abduction, the interlocutors have reported encouraging progress so far.
“The report reaching us says her return to her family has unfortunately been hindered by the fear of the militants.
“They worry that heavy military presence in areas where they previously moved about freely could affect their safety after they return her to the government”.
Last Sunday, three groups planned rolling out the pews and calling the faithful to pray for Leah and others in captivity in Abuja, Lagos, and Jos, Plateau State.
One other, by a different group will be holding in London.
Nigeria Everyday reported on Sunday a statement by Rev. Para-Mallam. It read in part: “Leah Sharibu’s Birthday will be on Tuesday May 14th, 2019. You are hereby invited to join in marking her birthday. There will be a variety of events. However, we would like you to consider the following and attend any of the under-listed. We urge people to turn out and provide support and solidarity to honor Leah’s testimony of faith and resilience. Contact your friends and others in the three cities to also attend. We (urge) Women, Mothers, Fathers and young people to identify with Leah in this day by coming out to join in the prayer abs peaceful march.
“By her 16th birthday Leah would have spent 449 days in captivity. There is need to mark her birthday in prayer The under-listed Events will take place in three (3) Cities at the following venues:
▪ Abuja – National Christian Centre, CAN Hqts Abuja and the Unity Fountain Park
Time: 9am – 12noon
▪ Jos – ECWA Hqts Church – Time 12noon -3:00pm
▪ Lagos: Realm of Glory Hqts Church
Off Dibor Street, Okota-Isolo, Lagos
Among the suggested strategies to mark the day are:
▪ a special prayer time for Leah and others in captivity.
▪ peaceful marches in these cities and brief rallies with placards displaying # Not Forsaken, Not Forgotten, # Free Leah, Happy birthday Leah, #For Leah’s sake, #Keep our schools safe, #Act now to keep our girls safe, #It could be your daughter. #SAY NO TO KIDNAPPING IN OUR SCHOOLS, LET’S UNITE AGAINST TERRORISM!
The 4 Partnering Groups are: Leah Sharibu Foundation, CWEENS (Women), Catalyst for Peace and Justice (CPJ), Lagos, and the Para-Mallam Peace Foundation
Interested individuals and groups have been advised to contact the following for more information: Dr Gloria Samdi Puldu, Jos 0803 454 8951 (Leah Foundation)
Joy Machunga 0803 607 3144 (CWEENS)
Pastor Debra Life-Alegbemi, Abuja 0806 534 0589 (CWEENS); Rev. Abraham Aiyedogbon (CPJ) 0703 000 1195; Revd Gideon Para-Mallam 08033120747 (TP-MPF) (Facilitating).