Raphael Ede, Enugu
The Students Christian Movement (SCM) has called on the Federal Government to do everything humanly possible to ensure that the Dapchi Christian girl, Leah Sharibu, is released from the custody of Book Haram terrorists.
Leah was kidnapped alongside more than 100 other students of Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi, Yobe state, but while other school girls were quickly released after government negotiation, Leah was held back by the fundamentalists for not renouncing her Christian faith.
Addressing journalists, in Enugu, in a joint press conference after their 30th biennial conference, at the weekend, the out-gone President of SCM, Rev. Eric Ighalo, and the newly-elected president, Evang. Oguazi Onyemobi, appealed to President Muhamadu Buhari to also ensure the release of the remaining Chibok girls by their captors.
Ighalo’s words, “We appeal to the president, entire government for the release of the remaining Chibok girls, and during the conference we stood to give a standing ovation for the courage of Leah Sharibu.
“She is still in captivity up till now, but we salute as a movement the courage, the tenacity, the hope of Leah Sharibu.
“And we are hoping that government will do everything in her powers to release her because she is still being held only on account of her refusal to renounce her faith.”
The SCM decried the killing of Christians and destruction of Christian villages in Plateau, Benue, Taraba states and other parts of the country, and urged the Federal Government to protect the people.
The movement said that if the Federal Government could deploy more than 30, 000 policemen and hundreds of other security personnel to Ekiti state “to protect their votes and return a governor”, it means that the government has the capacity to protect the lives and property of every Nigerian, whether Christian or Muslim, which is the Major responsibility of government.
The group also announced that it would soon launch ‘operation show your voters card’, stressing that the youths of the country has the number and capacity to vote old politicians that had been perpetuating themselves in government without any visible impact and positive change in the sociopolitical and economic well being of Nigerians.
“This is one time we have the opportunity to say no to all this shenanigans, they are taking us for a ride. And we are supporting someone that we consider having antecedent, that has the credentials to make credible leadership by virtue of what he or she has done in the past,” they said.
Also speaking the new President of SCM, Evang. Chimaobi, who gave the theme of the conference as ‘A highway of holiness; said the group was targeting the heart of leaders, lamenting that “darkness is becoming overwhelming in our society today; corruption, favouritism and tribalism remain manifest.”
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He said that SCM, with over 50 million membership in Nigerian secondary and tertiary institutions, is currently training more than 2000 youths in leadership development and empowerment skills, adding that the group wants to serve as instrument of change and instrument of God to transform Nigeria.
A member of the local organising committee of the conference, who is also a former president of the movement and former Commissioner for Human Capital Development and Poverty Reduction in Enugu State, Evang. Godwin Ogenyi, said SCM has the contact and reach to impact the nation, and named Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; Enugu State governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Sen. Sam Egwu and late Chief Bola Ige, among others as former members of the group.
CSM was founded 70 years ago by the late Dr. Akanu Ibiam.