Outrage yesterday trailed the murder of the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev. Lawan Andimi after Boko Haram insurgents who kidnapped him rejected a N50 million ransom.
The state CAN chairman, Bishop Dami Mamza, who broke the sad news to some journalists in Yola, said that the insurgents had demanded two million euros (about N50 million) and still went ahead to kill the innocent cleric.
Bishop Mamza, who said that the killing was communicated to them through their contact, added that another pastor was abducted and killed almost at the same time with the kidnapped and murdered cleric from Michika.
Mamza said that Boko Haram had not been defeated or suppressed, asking the government to tell Nigerians the truth.
“Negotiations were still ongoing when they stopped calling. They were offered N50 million but they rejected it. They called his wife last week, informing her that they would be beheading him (Andimi) on Saturday, but somehow, they waited till Monday.”
The state CAN chairman lamented the constant attacks on Christians in the country, citing the killing of Pastor Dennis Bagauri of the Lutheran Church in Mayo-Belwa area by suspected kidnappers on Sunday.
President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the killing of Andimi, describing it as cruel, inhuman and deliberately provocative.
In his reaction to the incident, President 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.
Buhari condoled with the Christian community all over Nigeria, the government and people of Adamawa State and the bishop’s family over the sad loss of the cleric. He promised that terrorists would continue to pay a heavy price for their actions and would comprehensively be defeated by the armed forces.
The president urged nations of the world to end all support provided to Boko Haram and Islam in West Africa (ISWA) terrorist groups whose only goal is to sow death, violence, and destruction in the sub-region.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, condemned the killing and called for the recalibration of the country’s security system.
Atiku, who spoke yesterday on his official twitter handle, said:: “This development saddens me. There’s a compelling need to recalibrate our security architecture. I sympathise with the family of Andimi and the entire body of CAN in Nigeria. May the soul of the deceased rest in peace.”
Amnesty International also condemned the killing of the clerics, saying the situation “is appalling.”
The Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, in a statement, said: “We are appalled by reports that Reverend Lawan Andimi, the chairman of a local chapter of CAN, was killed by Boko Haram yesterday.
“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.
“It is appalling that Boko Haram followed up the killing of Andimi on Monday with an attack on his village in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State.”
Amnesty warned the terrorists that targeting civilians is a crime under international law.