ISWAP executes kidnapped Nigerian pastor

Boko Haram has killed some Nigerian citizens
Boko Haram used to illustrate the story.

The kidnapped chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa state, Lawan Andami, has been killed.

The pastor who was abducted on January 3 by members the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP), after an attack on Michika town, was announced killed on Monday by his abductors.

The killing of Mr Andami came two days after ISWAP claimed to have killed another abducted Christian whose identity has not been made known.

A Nigerian journalist who has maintained contacts with Boko Haram, Ahmad Salkida, broke the news on his Twitter handle Tuesday.

Mr Andami was last seen alive in a video clip shared online by his abductors two weeks ago. In the video, be was heard saying that his abductors were nice to him.

The murdered CAN chairman appeared calm and sounded hopeful that he would regain his freedom.

“They didn’t do anything wrong to me,\” he said in the shared video that went viral.

“I believe God who allows them to act in this way is still alive, and by the grace of God He will still make arrangement for my release…by the grace of God I will soon be together with my wife, my children, and my colleagues, but the opportunity has not been granted yet.”

Though no video or photograph of his corpse was shown, the national body of CAN confirmed the execution of Mr Andami in a harsh statement that berated the Nigerian government for failing to stand up for the deceased and many other Christians killed the insurgents recently.

The CAN President, Samson Ayokunle, said he is “almost losing hope in the government’s ability to protect Nigerians especially Christians”.

He said, “the Church did everything within her reach to secure the safe release of this pastor gentleman but it was not possible because they didn’t have the military power to do so.”

“Just last Sunday, a clergyman, Rev Denis Bagauri was murdered by unknown gunmen in his residence at Mayo Belwa of Adamawa State.

“The Church views the unabated kidnappings, extortions and killings of Christians and innocent Nigerians as shameful to the government that each time boasts that it has conquered insurgency.”

Mr Andami, a native of Kwada kwsmtiyahi village, in Chibok local government of Borno State was abducted after Boko Haram attacked Michika town on January 3.

His execution coincided with the day his native home was attacked by Boko Haram on Monday.

Reaction

The United Kingdom High Commissioner for Nigeria in reaction to the killing of the pastor sent out a message on Twitter condemning the development.

“Terrible to read the news of the execution of Pastor Rev Lawan Andimi by Boko Haram, ” he said.

“I utterly condemn such an awful crime and offer my deepest sympathy to his family and congregation.”

Nigeria’s former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has also reacted to the issue.

“This development saddens me, ” he said.

“There’s a compelling need to recalibrate our security architecture. I sympathize with the family of Pastor Lawan Andimi and the entire body of CAN in Nigeria. May the soul of the deceased Rest In Peace.”

President Muhammadu Buhari reacted to the killing of the reverend from London.

A statement circulated by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said “President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the terrorist killing of Lawan Andimi, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika local government area of Adamawa, describing it as cruel, inhuman and deliberately provocative.

“President Buhari regretted that the terrorists killed the religious leader while giving signals of a willingness to set him free by releasing him to third parties.

“He consoled the Christian community all over Nigeria, the government and people of Adamawa as well as the Bishop’s family over the sad loss of the man of God.

He said that terrorists would 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 the Boko Haram and the Islamic States in West Africa (ISWA) terrorist groups whose only goal was to sow death, violence, and destruction in the sub-region.”

The Boko Haram insurgency which is currently in its second decade has recently worsened with the outlawed group embarking on daily attacks and mass abductions that reminds one of the pre-Buhari era.

More than 40,000 are estimated to have been killed during the war. Millions of others have been displaced mainly in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.


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