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THE Council of African Apostles (CAA), an assembly of eminent Christian church leaders from across sub-Saharan Africa, that is chaired by Zimbabwe’s prominent church leader, Bishop Tudor Bismark of New Life Covenant Church, yesterday released a statement gly condemning the recent abductions of more than 230 school girls by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in the village of Chibok, Borno State, in northeast Nigeria.

It describes the abductions as “deplorable acts of terrorism that are affecting innocent lives who have no role whatsoever in the conflict or grievances that the militant group has against the federal government of Nigeria”. “Today we join hands with community leaders in northern Nigeria and other concerned parties and gly call for the return of these girls to their homes”, says the statement.

The CAA says that as a body of believers, it “upholds and recommits to the principle of diversity, but that diversity cannot lead to divergence that overtakes the sanctity of human life”.

The CAA is also calling on the Nigerian government “to exercise real leadership over the matter and use every disposable means it has to ensure that the girls are reunited with their families within the shortest possible time”.

It also urges the Nigerian government to engage Boko Haram in order to find a peaceful solution to immediately end the escalating violence that has claimed many innocent lives.

“We also call upon the global community, including Ecowas, African Union Commission, the United Nations, the G8 countries to step in and provide necessary support to the federal government of Nigeria to effectively deal with these acts of terror. We think such methods of harming innocent lives are cowardly, only serve to worsen tension and conflict and belong to the dustbins of history with no role whatsoever in resolving grievances,” the statement adds.

Other members of the Council of African Apostles include Dr. Mensa Otabil (Ghana), Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams (Ghana), Bishop Enock Sitima (Botswana), Bishop Mike Okonkwo (Nigeria), Bishop Joe Imakando (Zambia) amongst others. Their vision is “to be the voice and the centre of spiritual resources of Africans to address the dynamics of human need in Africa and for Africans.”

Source : The Herald