The ECWA Church has declared a three-day fasting and prayer for the release of Leah Sheribu, one of the girls abducted by insurgents at the Girls Technical School, Dapchi, Yobe State. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 15-year-old Leah, who was abducted along with 115 other girls last month, is the only student still in the captors’ custody. Reports had claimed that she was not released along with others because she refused to denounce her Christian faith. The Federal Government has promised to ensure her release, with government officials stating that negotiations were ongoing toward securing her freedom. Dr. Jeremiah Gado, ECWA President, who announced the Church’s resolve at the end of a four-day General Church Council meeting on Friday in Jos, urged members to fast and pry for God’s intervention toward freeing Leah. Gado, who read the communique to newsmen, directed members to also use the period to pray for God’s intervention in the security and economic situations of the country. According to him, the fasting and prayer will start on April 27 and end on April 29, 2018. “The fasting and prayer will be rounded off with special Church services in all ECWA Church branches the world over, on April 29,” he said, and urged other Christians to join in the intercessory prayer. The Church tasked the Federal Government to extend the negotiation mechanism being applied to free the remaining Chibok girls, to free Leah, and called for stringent measures to end such abductions. It decried the worsening spate of killings and kidnappings across the country, and urged government to strive to end attacks on rural communities allegedly by herdsmen. It kicked against suggestions that the violence was a clash between herdsmen and farmers, and claimed that it was “an expansionist mission meant to takeover people’s ancestral land”. The Church endorsed the call by eminent Nigerians asking citizens to defend themselves, and challenged government to make that unnecessary by protecting Nigerians from such invaders.
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