President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday condemned the killing of Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Pastor Lawan Andimi, by Boko Haram, describing it as cruel, inhuman and deliberately provocative.
Buhari, in a statement by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, expressed sorrow that the terrorists still killed Andimi after expressing their willingness to release him to third parties.
Andimi was killed on Monday after the insurgents had rejected the N50 million ransom offered them.
The president condoled with the Christian community in Nigeria,
the government and people of Adamawa State and the deceased’s family over the cleric’s murder.
He said the insurgents would continue to pay a heavy price for their actions, adding that they would eventually be defeated.
Buhari appealed to nations supporting Boko Haram and Islam in West Africa (ISWA) terrorist groups to end such support, knowing that the only goal of the terrorists is to unleash destruction on the West African sub-region.
Andimi’s killing was announced yesterday in Yola by the Adamawa State Chairman of CAN, Rev. Dami Mamza.
He said the Boko Haram insurgents, who had initially demanded €200 million as ransom, rejected the N50 million offered them and stopped further negotiations with a vow to kill the abducted cleric.
However, the national body of CAN blamed the murder of Andimi on the alleged poor response to his abduction by the federal government.
Mamza said the insurgents severed negotiations and called the wife of the abducted pastor and told her that they would kill him on Saturday but postponed the execution till Monday.
Ahmad Salkida, a journalist with years of experience reporting the activities of the insurgents, in a series of tweets, confirmed that Andimi was killed on Monday.
“To break some news items can traumatise. I’m battling with one of such. Reverend Andimi, abducted by #BokoHaram was executed yesterday,” Salkida tweeted.
Andimi was abducted on January 4, 2020 when Boko Haram insurgents attacked Michika and Madagali LGAs but were repelled by soldiers in synergy with local vigilante operatives.
Shortly after his abduction, Andimi was seen in a video posted on Twitter by Salkida, saying that he was captured by the insurgents.
Andimi pleaded with the Adamawa State Government and CAN leadership to rescue him.
The cleric, who spoke in Hausa and English intermittently, urged his family not to be afraid, adding that he would return home safely if it is the will of God.
He said: “I have never been discouraged because everything is in the hands of God. God who made them to take care of me and leave me alive will touch them… So, I am appealing to fellow reverends, particularly my president, Rev. Joel Billy, who is a strong man of love, that he should do his best to speak with our governor and other necessary agents for my release.
“These people (Boko Haram) have been treating me well. They have been feeding me with what I want to eat and they provided me with a nice place to sleep and everything. They have not done anything wrong to me and I believe that God, who made them to act in such a way, is still alive.
“By the grace of God, I will be together with my wife, children and colleagues and if the opportunity is not granted, then maybe it is the will of God. All well-wishers and colleagues should be patient. Don’t cry, don’t worry but thank God for everything.”
On Christmas eve, a faction of Boko Haram affiliated to the Islamic State, killed 11 Christian captives in Borno State, saying the action was taken to avenge the deaths of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the late IS leader and Abul-Hasan Al-Muhajir, its spokesman, who were killed in Syria in October.
Four abducted aid workers of the Action Against Hunger, an international non-government organisation, were also killed by the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) in December.
The insurgents said the aid workers were killed because of the breakdown of talks with the federal government