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Boko Haram: FG ‘deaf and dumb’ over Christian persecution – CAN

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THE Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Monday says there are clear indications that the Federal Government is ‘deaf and dumb’ over Christian persecutions in the country.

The Christian umbrella group also disclosed that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government including the security operatives has failed in its primary responsibilities to secure the lives of Nigerians.

Bayo Oladeji, CAN Spokesperson told The ICIR in a phone interview that despite the evidence of continuous oppressions against the men of other faiths in the northern part of the country, the government still holds the notion it already won the war against insurgency.

He lamented over the nation’s security situation while reacting to media reports on Boko Haram abducted clergy – Rev. Lawan Andimi, whose short video has been trending on social media.

He noted that there was nothing the Christian group could do to rescue Andimi, as citizens are disallowed from carrying arms while CAN does not also have in possession monies to pay as ransoms.

“We have many of our people in detention over these terrorists. There is nothing we can do other than to pray to God to intervene. They are looking for money but we don’t have the money. We don’t have arms.

“If we must fight them, we don’t have what it takes to fight them. The government has been telling the whole world that Boko Haram is no longer in Nigeria but those who are fighting, maybe they are from heaven or hell. We don’t know,” says Oladeji. “We just need to continue to pray to God. We just want to stop those people that are killing our people and for the government to wake up from its slumber.

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“All the security agencies should wake-up to their responsibilities. These people are killing our people every day. When we said there is Christian persecution in the country, they said we were raising a false alarm, so where do we turn to?” he queried.

He emphasised that despite repeated calls to the federal government, the authorities had done nothing to salvage the situation.

He tasked the media to challenge the current administration, especially as it concerns national security and terrorism.

On the herdsmen/farmers crisis, the spokesperson queried if anyone had been brought to book by the government institutions.

“Not one has been brought to book. Yet the media is looking like all is well…you will see about 13 people that are crying that CAN should help them. What can we do when you have a government that does not care? It is the responsibility of government to protect lives and property. Not the responsibility of any Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) or Christian organisation.

“When you ask the Christian to defend themselves, they will say you are calling for crisis and the government is doing nothing. So we are in a dilemma. It’s a very dicey situation. And media is critical in this matter…”

He further cited an instance of local government areas in the country that were recently invaded stressing that no action was heard from the military or Department of State Security on the incident.

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“Haven’t you read what father Kukah said, that the difference between government and Boko haram is that Boko Haram carries guns, the government does not.

“Christian persecution is a reality in the country and there is nothing we can do other than to continue to pray to God. We can’t fight them and we don’t have the millions they are asking for.”

Andimi, the clergy held by the insurgent had earlier appealed to his colleagues, CAN’s leadership to help ensure his release.

In the 1:47 Seconds video, he expressed hope of his release.

However, the clergy said if he eventually dies, it should be considered the will of God.

His words: “I still believe that God who made them act in such a way is still alive. He will make all the arrangements. By the grace of God, I’ll be together with my wife, children and all my colleagues. If the opportunity is not granted, maybe it is the will of God. I want all person close and far, colleagues and other wishers to be patient. Don’t cry, don’t worry but thank God for everything.”

Last December, Babagana Zulum, the Borno State Governor pleaded with Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd.), Minister of Defence to help reclaim three Local Government Areas in the state.

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The United States Government also listed Nigeria among religion intolerant nations, a move the federal government swiftly rejected.

“We are hearing the rumour that from all the terrorists arrested, none is longer in the detention. We also heard that those who were released have joined their colleagues to fight the government. And who are they fighting? The Christians. Honestly, we don’t know what to say other than to cry to God. It is as if the government is deaf and dumb. It is very unfortunate,” CAN add.

Author profile

Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at oadanikin@icirnigeria.org. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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