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Sack all security chiefs, CAN tells Buhari
[size=undefined]Sack all security chiefs, CAN tells Buhari[/size]

23 January 2020 

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•CAN President, Dr. Samson Ayokunle

Following the recent killing of Reverend Lawan Andimi by Boko Haram terrorists, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack all his security chiefs. 

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, in a communique on Thursday asked why the Service Chiefs have not been replaced if the security agencies are not living up to the expectations of the government.

Dr Ayokunle on behalf of CAN demanded that the security council be overhauled with a view of injecting new visionaries into the security system.
Below is a full statement by the CAN Chairman.


Gentlemen of the Press.
Let me call for a minute silence in honour of all those killed by the Boko Haram terrorists, Fulani herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers in the country.

“If you have ever lost a loved one, then you know exactly how it feels but if you have not, then you cannot possibly imagine it.”

― Lemony Snicket
You are all aware of the gruesome murder of the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev. Lawan Andimi, by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, because he refused to be converted to Islam.

Although, the group initially demanded for the sum of N50m and, when against all odds, the ransom was ready, they asked for €2m. It was in the process that they reached out to our people in Adamawa State to notify them that since the gentleman had refused to be converted to Islam, they had decided to behead him.

And that was what they did. In the same state, just last Sunday, a clergyman, Rev Denis Bagauri was murdered by unknown gunmen in his residence at Mayo Belwa of Adamawa State, all because he was a Christian.

You are also aware of the beheading of 11 Christians by Islamic State in West Africa on Christmas Day of 2019 in Maiduguri including a bride to be.

Few days ago, four seminarians of the Good Shepherd Catholic Seminary in Kakau, were kidnapped along Kaduna-Abuja Road and we have not heard anything about them.
In Kaduna State, the most recent happenings were those of 35 people killed and abduction of 58 persons when bandits raided 10 communities in the Chikun and Birnin Gwari Local Government areas on January 13, 2020. These criminals are everywhere operating with impunity and they have been stopping commercial and private vehicles asking them to come down and telling them to say what their religion is.

Whoever claims to be a Christian is either killed on the spot or abducted and a demand for a ransom issued. Police, Army officers, and even judges are not exempted. This is reprehensible, unacceptable and unprecedented since Nigeria came into being. Christians have become endangered species in their own country!

Nigeria is under a siege orchestrated by the murderous blood-thirsty and criminally- minded Boko Haram terrorists, Fulani terrorist herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers who are all armed to the teeth, dressed in army uniforms, and gradually overwhelming our security agencies.

They have been going around invading predominantly Christian villages and towns, killing and maiming our youths and elders, men and women; raping our women and daughters, decapitating children and disemboweling pregnant women, and subjecting people to coldblooded murder.

Although their atrocities did not begin today, it increased with the advent of democracy, which gave birth to the Sharia Law in some Northern states, an outright violation of the 1999 Constitution. However, the attacks being witnessed under the current administration are unprecedented.

Today, the killers are unleashing terror on selected Christian communities, while sometimes our security agencies appear to be looking elsewhere. It is usually after the evil has been done that our soldiers and policemen invade the communities and in many instances, the victims are locked up, while the criminals are left untouched.

From 1980-2019, the Stephanos Foundation’s record shows a total of 1,785 attacks in 32 states of the country. This led to the death of not less than 28, 878 innocent people. In 121 Muslim-riots in 19 states, the death of 9, 451 lives were. Also, Boko Haram militant groups were responsible for 701 attacks that claimed 12,812 lives in 15 states.

Again, 963 attacks from Fulani Militant groups in 32 states were responsible for 6,615 deaths.

The hoodlums have been in Southern Kaduna for years, where hundreds have been killed including a highly placed traditional ruler. And up till today, no one has been brought to book. Instead, it was those who cried out that were subjected to state harassment. A few suspects arrested were later freed to continue with their atrocities.

The Fulani herdsmen were in Aghatu land in Benue State and other predominantly Christian communities; killing and maiming their victims. Mass burials have become the order of the day and to add salt to the injury, it was the Federal Government that was justifying the killings of the citizens by accusing some governors of making laws against open grazing.

They claimed that the killings were not genocide against Christians but farmers-herders’ clash.
President Muhammadu Buhari has not ceased telling us that the criminals are coming from Libya, as though Nigeria shares borders with Libya. As if that were not enough, the Miyetti Allah the Fulani herdsmen have claimed responsibility for the killings and justifying their actions.

In other instances, they disown the killers, telling us that there are other herdsmen who are not their members but who also register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

The Federal Government has never deemed it fit to call them to order, but instead insisted that the herdsmen are stakeholders in the country! This emboldens them and their members who are always attacking predominantly Christian communities in Plateau, Adamawa, Taraba and few states in the South like Enugu. As usual, none of these attackers has been brought to justice to end their atrocities with impunity.

These terrorists have not hidden their goal to Islamize Nigeria and that is what they have in common with the Fulani herdsmen. They have turned the North-East geo-political zone, especially, Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe, into killing fields. One of the cardinal programmes of this government is to put to an end the menace of insecurity and terrorism, but that has not been done.

Although the government often claims to have defeated the terrorists, what we are seeing on a daily basis contradicts that claim. Hundreds of our members, including Leah Sharibu and over 120 Chibok girls are still in the custody of these terrorists and the government has not succeeded in releasing them.
We are not disputing the fact that some Muslims have been killed.

However, we boldly state here that their primary targets are Christians. The only exceptions are those who are being killed by the bandits in the North-western states like Zamfara and Katsina. In the words of Carrie Jones, “Losing people you love affects you. It is buried inside of you and becomes this big, deep hole of ache. It doesn’t magically go away, even when you stop officially mourning.”

It is reprehensible and saddening that each time the government comes out to claim the defeat of the insurgency, more killings of our people are committed. In the light of the current developments and the circumstantial facts surrounding the prevailing upsurge of attacks against the church, it will be difficult for us to believe that the Federal Government under the present administration is not colluding with the insurgents to exterminate Christians in Nigeria, bearing in mind the very questionable leadership of the security sector that has been skewed towards a religion and region! Is that lop-sidedness not a cover-up for the operation of the insurgency? If not, why couldn’t the well-equipped security agents of Nigeria get Rev Andimi out of the captivity of his killers who held him captive for two weeks?

Please permit me to ask 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 communication 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 into the security system?

As long as the government continues to live in denial and fail to face reality, these criminals will not stop their criminalities. We are almost losing hope in the government’s ability to protect Nigerians especially Christians who have become endangered species under its watch.

We once again call on the International Community and the developed world like the US, the UK, Germany, Israel and others to please come to our aid of Nigeria, especially, the Nigerian Church so that we might not be eliminated one by one.


• 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 perpetuating 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 delegations 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 CAN Leadership has declared Friday, 31st January to 2nd February 2020 as days for Special Fasting and Prayer for Nigeria in all churches, home and abroad, for the gruesome killing of innocent Nigerians to stop and for our government to develop the capacity to overcome the criminals troubling the nation.

Sunday 2nd February 2020 is declared a Special Prayer Walk by Christians in all the States of the Federation in the form of a procession to be led by States CAN Chairmen in their CAN Secretariats and pastors of churches in all churches in Nigeria.

Churches should process round their area, pray for God’s permanent intervention and help from all over the world so that all of us might not be consumed one by one. It appears our government is completely overwhelmed.
The Brutality of Nigerians is happening unabated daily.

All Bloc Leaders, Zonal and States Chairmen, Leaders of Denominations and all Christians and concerned Nigerians should support and come out en-mass for the program.
The Church is matching on and the gate of hell shall not prevail against it!

•Courtesy of Channels TV.

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Femi Adesina calls out CAN for allegedly painting President Buhari as an ''anti-Christian'' over the gruesome murder of CAN chairman, Reverend Andimi

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Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, has called out the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, for allegedly painting President Buhari as an ''anti-christian'' following the recent beheading of Reverend Lawan Andimi, the Chairman of CAN in Michika Local government area of Adamawa state by Boko Haram members.
Adesina in an article posted this morning, accused the Christian leaders of mixing Bias and sympathy in their reaction to the unfortunate incident.
Adesina said the statement released by CAN after the killing can breed hatred and malice in a country, and ''CAN should not be involved in such, for Jesus would not do it.''
Read his article below
It was very sad and doleful to hear of the eventual beheading of Rev Lawan Andimi, Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Michika Local Government, Adamawa State. He had been abducted by terrorists earlier this month .
I felt the killing of Andimi very keenly, not for the fact that he was a clergyman, but “any man’s death diminishes me, because I’m involved in mankind.” (John Donne).
No man should die the way Rev Andimi was killed. Beheaded by insurgents, who then proceeded to gleefully announce his decapitation. It should not happen. Evil and senseless. It is classic example of man’s inhumanity to man, and those who did it have long lost their humanity, if they ever had any.
President Muhammadu Buhari has sympathized with the family and relations of the dead. I have also been in a state of melancholy over it. May God have mercy.
I am mourning Rev Andimi, not just because he was a cleric, but because he was a human being. And my distress was increased by the statement issued on the tragic event by the central body of CAN. Too many things were mixed together, which the apex Christian body in the country should have been mindful of, lest it departs from the mind and essence of Jesus Christ, our perfect example.
For years, since he emerged on the national scene as a military leader, and later as an aspirant for the highest political office in the country, and eventually as President, spirited attempts have been made to position Muhammadu Buhari as anti-Christian faith. It worked against the man for a long time, till majority of Nigerians saw through the smokescreen, and made up their minds against the demonization. That was why as much as some church leaders tried to dress Buhari in borrowed robes in 2015 and 2019, millions of Christians went ahead to vote for him. The inexorable truth is that in Nigeria, Muslims can’t wish Christians away, and vice-versa. We shall all stay here, and salvage it together.
However, the statement by CAN on the death of Andimi gives hint that the leadership of the Christian body still harbors some of the old narratives that have been discredited, and from which majority of people have purged themselves, except the willfully irredeemable.
Hear CAN, through its Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Evangelist Kwamkur Vondip, speaking for Rev Samson Ayokunle, President of the body: “Maintenance of security is the least responsibility of any government that knows its worth. We are once again calling on President Buhari to purge himself of the allegations of nepotism and religious favoritism by reconstituting the leadership of the security forces.”
Let’s consider this part of the press statement. Maintenance of security is the least responsibility of any government that knows its worth. Not news. The Constitution says so. But don’t you glean a hint of bile and bias in “that knows its worth?” Oh, CAN, this is not the mind of our Master. He gives praises when due. Security is number one on the priorities of the Buhari administration. It has pumped time and humongous resources into it, and while the job is not fully done, we are not in the same position we were before the administration came. At least, to those who want to be honest. And CAN should be honest. That is what we’ve learnt from our Master. There were times bombs used to go off in this country like firecrackers, and deaths were in many scores. Now for months on end, you may not hear of a single bomb blast. Emirs that had fled their palaces, like those of Askira and Uba, have returned after two years. Secondary schools that were shut for two years in Maiduguri have reopened. Roads long closed due to activities of insurgents are back in use. Kidnappers are being arrested in droves in different parts of the country. Clashes between farmers and herdsmen are reducing to the barest minimum. Yet, CAN is talking about a government that knows its worth? The Buhari government does, and honest Nigerians know it, and wish it more successes. Security, in any country of the world, can only be work in progress.
Hear again: We are once again calling on President Buhari to purge himself of the allegations of nepotism and religious favoritism...Wait a minute. If any purging is to be done, is it not by those making allegations? The allegations lasted for many years, but truth eventually overtook them. If CAN would then still dwell on the discredited accusations, it must be the one to purge itself, as millions of Nigerians, including Christians, have already done. The insecurity in the country is not about any religion. It is pure evil, from the pit of hell.
And then: ...purge himself of the reconstituting the leadership of the security forces. CAN, oh CAN, in a condolence statement?
Are you saying under a different leadership of our security forces, insurgency will vanish after they wave their fingers? Why mix the wheat and chaff together? In the leadership of the security forces as we have it now, is the position of Chief of Defence Staff not held by General Abayomi Olonisakin, who is also a pastor? Is he not a member of CAN? Is the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe-Ibas, not a Christian, and under the banner of CAN? Listening to the organization, you would think not even half a Christian is in the leadership of the security forces. This kind of sentiment breeds hatred and malice in a country, and CAN should not be involved in such, for Jesus would not do it. And we’ve been called to walk in His steps.
If the leadership of the security forces would be changed, it is a sitting President that has the prerogative. It will not happen when CAN begins to make such demand in what should be a sober condolence press statement. Don’t mix bias and sympathy. They don’t mesh.
And then, this completely reckless portion of the statement: “In the light of the current developments and the circumstantial facts surrounding the prevailing upsurge of attacks against the church, it will be difficult for us to believe that the Federal Government is not colluding with the insurgents to exterminate Christians in Nigeria, bearing in mind the very questionable leadership of the security sector that has been skewed towards a religion and region.”
Holy Moses! Did CAN say this? Shameful and ridiculous. These are the things that sow malice and animosity in the country, and a Christian body is not expected to be involved in such. You can’t sow discord, and expect concord.
In that statement, the Christian body urged the Federal Government to ensure the release of the prisoner of faith, Leah Sharibu, and hundreds of victims who are in Boko Haram and ISWAP captivity. It equally called for three days fasting and prayers by Christians in the country. Good. The role of the church is not just in making snide remarks and statements, it is in what the Good Book calls “the demonstration of the Spirit and power.” When Herod locked Peter up, and was going to behead him, the early church prayed fervently, and Peter was rescued miraculously the night before. Rather than cast the government as omnipotent, it is God that has all powers. And some things are never resolved spiritually except through prayer and fasting. It is not me that said so. Jesus did. So, let the Church be fully involved in supplication for divine intervention in the country, rather than playing subtle politics and unwittingly generating hate in the land.
CAN says kidnappings and killings are shameful to a government that boasts that it has conquered insurgency. Boasts. So that is all that matters to CAN, as if it was an opposition political party? Boasts. No. This would not augur for unity and cohesion in a country. We are not asking the Christian body to be in bed with government, that would not help anybody, but the organization has been sounding too long like a political party. We daily learn to walk with Jesus. His spirit is not an unduly critical one. And He left us an example “that ye should follow in his steps.”
Rev Andimi was not killed solely because he was a Christian. Those evil people kill anyone they lay their filthy hands on.
May Andimi’s soul Rest In Peace. May his loved ones be comforted. And may evildoers get their recompense, and fast too. Amen.
.Adesina is Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Buhari

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