The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to clear his name of the allegations of favouritism and nepotism by reconstituting the leadership of the various security agencies in the country, following the killing of the association’s chairman in Adamawa State, Reverend Lawan Andimi, on Monday, by Boko Haram.
This was just as the Amnesty International described the killing of Reverend Andimi as appalling, charging that deplorable crimes must not go unpunished.
In a statement issued on Tuesday by CAN’s National Director (Legal and Public Affairs), Evangelist Kwamkur Vondip, the Christian Association said another clergyman, Reverend Denis Bagauri, was murdered by unknown gunmen in his residence at Mayo Area of Adamawa State, last Sunday.
The body said it viewed the unabated kidnappings, extortions and killings of Christians and innocent Nigerians as shameful for a government that has been boasting of having defeated Boko Haram insurgency.
It challenged the Federal Government to be more proactive in the efforts to get rid of the unending siege by the insurgents and other criminals in the country and end the wanton killings and destructions of lives and property of Nigerians.
For the government to be taken seriously, CAN said: “Maintenance of security is the least responsibility of any government that knows its worth. We once again call on President Buhari to purge himself of allegations of nepotism and religious favouritism by reconstituting the leadership of the security outfits.
“What is the essence of SIM card registration if the authorities cannot use it to track down these killers who rely on phones as a mean of communications to do their criminalities? What has become of intelligence gathering of our security agencies? Is this government and the security agencies still claiming that the war against these criminals in religious garments has been won despite all the killings?”
The body also urged the government to ensure the release of Miss Leah Sharibu and several other victims who are in the captivity of Boko Haram and ISWAP before it is too late, adding that a government that cannot protect the governed is a failed government.
Amnesty International’s Country Director, Osai Ojigho, while reacting to the murder, said, “Amnesty International is appalled by reports that Reverend Lawan Andimi, the chairman of a local chapter of CAN, was killed by Boko Haram yesterday (Monday).
“With this horrific murder and an increasing number of attacks in recent weeks, Boko Haram has again shown its brazen disregard for the sanctity of life. These deplorable crimes must not go unpunished.”
She decried the killing of Andimi, noting that targeting civilians was a crime under international law and charged that those perpetrating war crimes must be made to face the consequence of their actions.
“Boko Haram must immediately stop its attacks on civilians. All those responsible for war crimes and other human rights violations and abuses in Nigeria must be brought to justice in a fair trial,” Ojigho said.
Confirming the killing of Andimi on Tuesday, Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Dami Mamza, said his abductors went ahead to kill the cleric after demanding for the ransom, and described the act as gruesome and unfortunate.
He said the killing was communicated by the kidnappers through their contact, adding that another pastor was abducted and killed almost the same time Reverend Andimi was abducted in Michika.
Andimi was kidnapped on January 2 when the kidnappers stormed Michika community in an attack and demanded for two million euros as ransom before he could be released.
Days after his abduction, it was reported that Andimi was seen in a video that went viral begging the Adamawa State government to intervene and secure his release, even as he was said to have declared that if he should fail to come out of captivity, the government should help to look after his family.
Meanwhile, President Buhari on Tuesday strongly condemned the terrorist killing of Andimi, describing it as cruel, inhuman and deliberately provocative.
According to a statement issued in Abuja by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), Buhari in his reaction to the incident, expressed sorrow that the terrorists went on to kill the religious leader while giving signals at the same time of a willingness to set him free by releasing him to third parties.
President Buhari consoled the Christian community all over Nigeria, the government and people of Adamawa State and the Bishop’s family over the sad loss of the man of God and assured that terrorists would continue to pay a heavy price for their actions and would comprehensively be defeated by our determined armed forces.
The president urged nations of the world to end all support provided to Boko Haram and Islam in West Africa.