John Ameh, Adelani Adepegba, Eniola Akinkuotu, Samson Folarin and Hindu Livinus
The Christian Association of Nigeria and Amnesty International have expressed sadness over the gruesome murder of the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev.Lawan Andimi.
Ahmad Salkida, a journalist, who publishes stories about Boko Haram and Islamic State West African Province, tweeted that Andimi was killed on Monday.
Salkida wrote, “Reverend Lawan Andimi was beheaded yesterday afternoon (Monday), the video of the appalling execution with that of a soldier was obtained at 2:42pm. I made sure that the family, the authorities and the church were duly informed before the news was put out to the public this morning..”
Spokesman for the President of CAN, Rev. Bayo Oladeji, also confirmed the cleric’s killing.
CAN President, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, asked the Church to fast and pray for three days for the country.
In a statement by the Director, Legal and Public Affairs, CAN, Samuel Kwamkur, Ayokunle claimed that the Federal Government failed to negotiate Andimi’s release despite several appeals.
Ayokunle said, “It is reprehensible and saddening that each time the government comes out to claim the defeat of the insurgency, more of our people are killed.
“It will be difficult for us to believe that the Federal Government 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?”
He urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to “purge himself of the allegations of nepotism and religious favouritism by reconstituting the leadership of the security outfits.”
According to Most Reverend Stephen Mamza, Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese and state CAN chairman for the state, Christians are not being protected by the government.”
He lamented that negotiations where still ongoing when his abductors who were not satisfied with the N50m being offered as against £2m ransom being sought by the group.
He said, “The beheading of Andimi is barbaric. It is saddening that he was executed in the middle of negotiations. Negotiations were still ongoing when they stopped calling. They were offered N50m but they rejected it. They called his wife last week, informing her that they will be beheading him on Saturday, but somehow, they waited till Monday yesterday.
In a statement by its Media Manager, Isa Sanusi, AI said, “It is appalling that Boko Haram followed up the killing of Rev. Lawan Andimi on Monday with an attack on his village in the Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State. Targeting civilians is a crime under international law.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Buhari has described Andimi’s execution as “cruel, inhuman and deliberately provocative.”
A State House statement on Tuesday night said Buhari “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.”
The statement released by the President’s media aide, Mr Garba Shehu, added, “President Buhari consoles 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 assures that terrorists will 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, ISWAP terrorist groups whose only goal is to sow death, violence and destruction in the sub-region.”