CAN: It is difficult for us not to believe government is colluding with insurgents to exterminate Christians
The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Dr. Samson Supo Ayokunle has expressed deep sadness over the news of the gruesome murder of Rev. Lawan Andimi.
Ayokunle made this known in a statement signed by Director, Legal and Public Affairs, CAN. Evangelist Kwamkur Samuel Vondip,
Andimi until his murder on Monday was held captive by Boko Haram. He was 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.
In the statement made available to Church Times on Tuesday, the body notes that the expression of grief and disgust is a representation of the feelings of the church in Nigeria and the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
The body lamented that the gruesome murder of the CAN official is an indictment on the government of Nigeria. it recalled that the late Andimi had made a passionate appeal to the leadership of the church and the Federal government to come to his help.
The statement notes further that the Church did everything within her reach to secure the safe release of Pastor Andimi. But did not succeed because they didn’t have military power.
The statement notes, ‘Just last Sunday, a clergyman Rev Denis Bagauri was murdered by unknown gunmen in his residence at Mayo Belwa of Adamawa State.
The killings according to him is becoming worrisome.
CAN statement reads in part, “Church views the unabated kidnappings, extortion and killings of Christians and innocent Nigerians as shameful to the government that each time boasts that it has conquered insurgency.
“It is reprehensible and saddening that each time the government comes out to claim the defeat of the insurgency, more killings of our people are committed.”
The body notes that the lopsided and skewed leadership of the security architecture of the country towards one religion and region, “makes it difficult not to believe that the Federal Government under President Mohammadu Buhari is not colluding with the insurgents to exterminate Christians in Nigeria”
CAN asks further, “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?”
While calling on Christians to be calm, CAN challenged President Buhari to be more proactive and end the siege on Nigeria if the government is to be taken seriously.
The body also called on President Buhari to purge himself of allegations of nepotism and religious favouritism by reconstituting the leadership of security outfits.
The Federal Government is urged to ensure the release of the prisoner of faith, Leah Sharibu and hundreds of victims who are in the Boko Haram and ISWAP captivity before it is too late. A government that cannot protect the governed is a failed government.
While deeply sympathising with the immediate family of Late Rev. Andimi, President and members of EYN Church, the government of Adamawa State and the entire Nigeria Church. the Christian body asks:
• 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 means of communications to commit crimes?
• 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?
• 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?
The Church body opines that as long as government keeps living in denial and fail to face the reality, these criminals will not stop committing crimes.
While disclosing that it has lost hope in the ability of government to protect its citizens, it called on “the International community and developed world like the US, the UK, Germany, Israel and others to please come to our aid of Nigeria, especially, the Nigerian Church so that we might not be eliminated one by one.”
The body then urged Christians in the country to set apart three days in the week to pray and fast for Nigeria while urging them to keep hope alive assuring that soon those behind the evil in the country will be exposed.