President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, on Tuesday described the killing of Adamawa State CAN chairman, Rev. Lawan Andimi as gruesome, unfortunate and a shame on the federal government.
Andimi was abducted by Boko Haram on January 2 when the insurgents stormed the community.
Ayokunle faulted the security architecture of the country, wondering: “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?
“Is the government sincere in fighting these terrorists or merely paying lip service to the war against the insurgency? Is there any hope that our security is guaranteed under this government?”
A statement issued by the Director, Legal and Public Affairs, CAN, Evangelist Kwamkur Vondip said: “The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, and indeed the entire CAN leadership and the Nigerian Church are deeply saddened with the news of the gruesome murder of Rev. Lawan Andimi the CAN Chairman Michika Local Government Area and the District Church Council Secretary of the Ecclesiya Yan’uwa a Nigeia (EYN) Church in Michika, Adamawa State.
“We recall sadly that Late Rev. Lawan Andimi while in captivity made a passionate appeal to the leadership of his church and the Federal Government to come to his rescue. The Church did everything within her reach to secure the safe release of this pastor gentleman but it was not possible because they didn’t have the military power to do so.
“Just last Sunday, a clergyman, Rev Denis Bagauri was murdered by unknown gunmen in his residence at Mayo Belwa of Adamawa State. The Church views the unabated kidnappings, extortions and killings of Christians and innocent Nigerians as shameful to the government that each time boasts that it has conquered insurgency”.
CAN said It was reprehensible and saddening that each time the government comes out to claim the defeat of the insurgency, more: “killings of our people are committed. In the light of the current developments and the circumstantial facts surrounding the prevailing upsurge of attacks against the church, it will be difficult for us to believe that the Federal Government under President Mohammadu Buhari is not colluding with the insurgents to exterminate Christians in Nigeria bearing in mind the very questionable leadership of the security sector that has been skewed towards a religion and region!
“Is that lopsidedness not a cover up for the operation of the insurgency? If not, why couldn’t the well equipped security agents of Nigeria get this man killed rescued?”
The religious body further urged the federal government to ensure the release of the prisoner of faith, Leah Sharibu and hundreds victims in the Boko Haram and ISWAP captivity before it is too late.
CAN said: “A government that cannot protect the governed is a failed government. Can the government tell us what they did since Rev. Andimì cried out to them for help?
“If the security agencies claim the terrorists are operating outside the country, why is it possible for these hoodlums to invade the country, kill, maim, burn and kidnap without any convincing checks on the part of the security agencies?
“Since the government and its apologists are claiming the killings have no religious undertones, why are the terrorists and herdsmen targeting the predominantly Christian communities and Christian leaders?
“If the security agencies are not living up to the expectations of the government, why hasn’t it overhauled them with a view of injecting new visionaries ones into the security system?”
CAN said as long as government continues to live in denial and fail to face the reality: “these criminals will not stop their criminalities. We are almost losing hope in government’s ability to protect Nigerians especially Christians who have become endangered species under its watch”.
Ayokunle called on the International community and developed world like the US, the UK, Germany, Israel and others to come to: “our aid of Nigeria, especially, the Nigerian Church so that we might not be eliminated one by one.”