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Boko Haram/ISWAP: Christian leadership in Nigeria queries Buhari, makes 10 demands

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Thursday, issued what could be described as its toughest statement since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed power in 2015.

At a World Press Conference, CAN President, Rev Samson Ayokunle, said it was now clear that Christians were endangered citizens in Nigeria.

CAN rejected the reaction of the President Muhammadu Buhari to Boko Haram killing of Lawan Andimi, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika local government area of Adamawa state.

Buhari, in a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, described the murder as cruel, inhuman and deliberately provocative.

He expressed sorrow that the terrorists went on to kill the religious leader while giving signals at the same of a willingness to set him free by releasing him to third parties.

But, CAN stated that Christians were tired of the usual press releases and condemnations which have failed to make any meaningful impact.

Andimi was abducted by Boko Haram when they attacked Michika on January 3.

Initially, he was declared missing but later appeared in a video released by Boko Haram, wherein he pleaded with authorities to secure his release.

In his speech, Ayokunke threw posers to the federal government the following questions:

“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 mean of communications to do their criminalities?

“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 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 body said as long as the government continues to live in denial and fail to face the reality, these criminals will not stop their criminalities.

CAN further made ten demands to Buhari and urged him to take immediate action.

“The President should overhaul the security council with a view of bringing in new heads of all the security agencies and the para-military which no religion or part of the country will dominate.

“The Federal government should either label the Miyetti Allah Fulani Association a terrorist organisation as being regarded in the terror index.

“The Federal Government should order the arrest of the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Groups in who are sponsoring and perpertuating the crime of Nigeria and prosecute them for all the killings in Southern Kaduna, Benue, Plateau and Taraba States, among others.

“The Federal Government should publish names of all kingpins of the terrorists who are in detention and those who are being prosecuted.

“The Federal Government should stop releasing the so-called repented terrorists since they are reportedly joining their colleagues in the forest to unleash terror on the land.

“The Federal Government should reverse the recent controversial Police promotion with a view to balancing religious and ethnic divides in the country.

“The Federal Government should stop sending delegation to all Islamic international organisations and let our Muslim counterparts be doing so as we are doing in all international Christian religious organisations.

“The Federal Government should stop discriminating against our female Youth corps who refuse to wear the NYSC trousers for religious reasons since they allow their Muslim counterparts to wear hijab.

“The victims of the consistent attacks should be assessed and adequately compensated. The victims in various IDPs be provided with adequate security and enough resources for continual survival.

“It is painful and a betrayal to note that the government gives more attention to so called repentant terrorists than the victims of their evil with the claim that they are being reinstated and rehabilitated, even into the Nigerian Army. This is a major contradiction.”

The Christian leadership said it was losing hope in government’s ability to protect Nigerians, especially Christians, and called on the International community and the developed world like the US, the UK, Germany, Israel and others to come help Nigeria.

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