Ishaq Oloyede, secretary-general, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, says the organisation has reached out to Boko Haram over the continued captivity of Leah Sharibu.
Sharibu was among the 112 students kidnapped from Government Girls’ Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state, on February 19.
Although most of the other girls later regained freedom, Sharibu was reportedly held back by the terrorists for refusing to denounce Christianity.
Speaking at The Point Newspaper’s annual Ramadan lecture on Monday, Oloyede said the council had opened a channel of communication with the insurgents on the matter.
He expressed shock over the threat issued by the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, over Sharibu’s captivity.
He said: “The unfortunate abduction of Leah and other girls, both Muslims and Christians, is intensely hurtful to all right-thinking persons.
“I am aware that the particular case of Leah made the leadership of the NSCIA reach out to all possible channels of reaching the group with a proposal to secure amnesty for the group provided Leah and other girls in captivity are released and the group surrender their arms. This knowledge made the careless threat particularly painful”, Oloyede said.
“The Christian Association of Nigeria recently escalated the state of insecurity with its threat that should Leah Sharibu die in captivity of Boko Haram, there would be a religious war.
“I am as astonished as the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, who recently expressed shock at the destructive and counter-productive statement.
“Boko Haram has never hidden its mission of setting Nigeria ablaze through a religious war. Whose interest was the call to serve? Definitely, not that of the innocent Nigerian lady, Leah Sharibu.”
Oloyede is also the registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB.