Kidnapped Baptist pastor: CAN begs Buhari, Military to effect release

by Church Times

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has again made a passionate plea to President Muhammadu Buhari to order the military and the Police to rescue Rev Popoola David Kayode of Calvary Baptist Church,  Kurmin Mashi in Kaduna State who was abducted by some unknown gunmen on Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Christian body made the plea in a statement on Thursday signed by its National Secretary, Barrister Daramola Bade Joseph.

The Pastor was reportedly abducted 24 hours after the abduction of 121 students of Bethel Baptist High School, Damishin, Chukun Local Government also in Kaduna State.

The kidnappers are said to be demanding N800m and foodstuffs before they could release the students and the pastor.

CAN specifically asked President Buhari and the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir Elrufai to ensure Rev Popoola is not murdered the way the CAN Chairman of Michika Local Government in Adamawa State, Rev Lawan Andimi was murdered about 18 months ago.

“We believe that the freedom of the Pastor is a litmus test for the Service Chiefs, especially the new Chief of Army Staff,  Major General Yahaya Farouk, and the Inspector  General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba. The whole world is watching whether they will live up to the expectations or not.” The statement partly reads

CAN said further that “f the then American President,  Donald Trump, could put his acts together from far away America and ordered his military to rescue only one kidnapped American in Nigeria, then, our President has no excuse not to act decisively and rescue this Servant of God. Why should the government leave Nigerians to be at the mercy of the insurgents, bandits, and kidnappers?

“What is the essence of having a government in place? The government that did everything to ensure that the leader of IPOBs, Nnamdi Kanu, was brought back to the country is strong enough to stop these criminalities if the political will is there.”

The Christian association noted that Buhari’s best on security “is not good enough to Nigerians and in the eyes of the whole world. The bitter truth is that no place is safe again in this country.”

CAN accused the government of being passive in dealing with individuals who have shown sympathy for terrorists in the country,

It mentioned Sheik Ahmed Gumi who has been having an “unholy romance” with the bandits and also Isa Ali Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy over his alleged relationship with terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda.

CAN asks further, “We are curious to know how Gumi was able to locate the whereabouts of the bandits when our security agencies are giving us the impression that they are invincible.

“If the terrorists can be located by an individual, what hinders the police and the military from arresting them and bringing them to book? Is anyone in government conniving with the terrorists so that this insecurity might continue? Is Nigeria truly operating two laws?”

It avers that “History will not overlook the failure of the present administration to fulfill its campaign promises to fix the security challenges. The unborn generation will be shocked by the government that was brutal to the peaceful protesters and ‘freedom fighters’ like Sunday Adeyemo (popularly called Sunday Igboho) but was lenient with the hardened criminals who were operating with impunity.

“To reverse this, the President should have a change of heart in his style of governance before it will be too late. 2023 is not an eternity. He must stop a situation where Pastors are becoming endangered species under his watch.”

It then urged all Christians and indeed Nigerians to spend the next seven days asking God to help stop further attacks by the bandits and also help our government to be sensitive to the ordeals and yearnings of the people.

It will be recalled that CAN had on Tuesday, July 6 called for the rescue of about 140 students of Bethel Baptist College, Kaduna

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