Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Samson Ayokunle, has urged the Federal Government  to release  the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and former National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).

Ayokunle, who is the president of Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), also enjoined government to ensure the release of Leah Sharibu, the Chrisitian schoolgirl Boko Haram kidnapped from Dapchi, Borno State, last year.

Sharibu was among over 100 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents on February 19, 2018 at Government Girls’ Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State.

Zakzaky  has been in detention since December 2015; after a clash members of his Islamic denomination had with the Nigerian Army.

A court of competent jurisdiction had ruled that he should be admitted to bail, but the federal government remains adamant.

Also, Dasuki was arrested on December 1, 2015, for allegedly diverting money meant to buy 12 helicopters, four fighter jets, and ammunition meant for Nigeria’s military campaign against Boko Haram.

Different court judges in Nigeria and ECOWAS Court, have ruled that he should be granted bail.

Ayokunle made the call when he addressed a press conference, to kick-off NBC’s national convention, at the seminary of the church in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, at the weekend.

The CAN leader begged government to negotiate with the insurgents and secure Sharibu’s release as well as the remaining Chibok girls who have been in captivity of the Boko Haram  since April 2014.

Ayokunle charged  the president to  “put all machineries in motion to squarely address in a better way the issues of insecurity, such as kidnapping, Islamic insurgency called Boko Haram, herdsmen’s attacks and ethnic militia disturbances in North East of Nigeria’’.

“All the people in captivity have been there for too long, especially Leah Sharibu and the remaining Chibok girls.

“Of course,  El-Zakzaky, and the former presidential security adviser, Sambo Dasuki, who are in the hands of the federal government are also due for release,” he stated.