The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) from the northern part of the country has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to step up efforts in securing the freedom of abducted Leah Sharibu, following the release of Zainab Aliyu from Saudi Arabia detention.

Aliyu, a student of the Maitama Sule University in Kano, was freed on Tuesday, after being arrested and detained by Saudi authorities for alleged possession of a banned drug.

In a statement by Joseph Hayab, public relations officer, northern CAN, the association expressed sadness at how “innocent Nigerians” are suffering abroad for crimes they didn’t commit.


CAN northern states also commended the federal government’s prompt effort in rescuing Aliyu, adding that the same energy and effort be directed towards securing the release of Sharibu.

Sharibu, who was the only Christian girl among the 112 kidnapped from the Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state, in February 2018, is still in Boko Haram custody.

The association charged Buhari to treat all Nigerians equally as this will make citizens proud of the government and the country.

“CAN Northern states rejoice with the parents of Zainab Aliyu and the government of our country for securing her release after she was arrested and detained in Saudi Arabia for allegations of drug trafficking,” the association said.

“It is sad that many innocent Nigerians are suffering for a crime they know nothing about.

“This prompt effort by government is commendable and should be sustained for all and in the future, because this is what we want to see from our leaders in this country.

“But as we rejoice about this development, we are also compelled to ask this important question: Are all Nigerians equal or some are more equal than others?

“We are aware that many innocent citizens of our country have been arrested, some killed and others are still in detention; but we have not heard any directives from Mr. President to his Attorney General to take action about them with this kind of urgency.

“If we want our citizens to be proud of their government and country, then we need to show equal concern about what happens to everyone in this country.

“We cannot also celebrate the release of Zainab and forget Leah Sharibu who did not commit any crime but has been in captivity for over a year now.

“We, therefore, appeal to President Buhari to direct his security agencies to double their efforts and get Leah released and reunited with her parents.

“Leah, too, wants to enjoy the protection of her leaders.”