CAN Urges FG to Secure Release of Christians in Boko Haram, ISWAP captivity

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has pleaded with the federal government to deploy every necessary resource at its disposal to ensure that all Christians in the captivity of Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) are freed.

CAN, in a statement by the President of CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, signed by his Special Assistance on Media and Communications, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji in Abuja, said the latest attacks are evidence of Christian persecution in Nigeria.

The appeal from the Christian body is coming on the hell of the kidnap of the Chairman of CAN in Michika, Adamawa State, Rev Lawan Andimi by Boko Haram terrorists last week when they invaded the predominantly Christian community.

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“Although we were told that the troops repelled them but not until they had successfully forced Rev Andimi into their Toyota Hilux and took him away.

“The innocent cleric, in video footage released by his captors, has been appealing to the Federal Government, the Adamawa State Governor and the leadership of CAN to come to his aide.”

The CAN President further lamented another bandit attack on Kasaya village, a Christian community in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State Monday about 6:30 am where they abducted 41 people, including a Pastor, Rev Joshua Samaila.

“Up till now, nobody knows what has become of them,” it added.

“On the 27th of November last year, Mr Bitrus Bwala, a principal lecturer at the College of Education Gashua in Yobe State and ten others, who are all Christians, were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists and Bwala in a short video cried out for help. Up till now, the government has not secured their freedoms or said anything about them.

“These are all evidence of the Christian persecutions in the country, and when we cried out in support of the position of the US government, they said it is not true. If criminals are invading the Christian communities, killing and abducting unchallenged, what do we call it if it is not persecution? How many terrorists, herdsmen killers and bandits are in the custody of the security agencies? How many of them have been arraigned in court?”

They are therefore calling on the Federal Government and all the security agencies to expedite actions on securing the immediate and safe release of all these hostages and to ensure adequate security in all the affected Christian communities that have become the targets of these criminals.

CAN also call on the United Nations (UN), the US, the UK, and others in the developed world to assist the federal government in securing lives before it is too late.

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“They should help our security agencies to live up to the expectations before the situation gets out of hand by stopping these killings and abductions with impunity.

“CAN and all well-meaning Nigerians want to assure all those in captivity and those facing religious persecution under the current dispensation that our prayers are with them and our God who delivered the people of Israel from the Egyptian bondage will surely deliver them. They will not die in captivity in Jesus Name”.

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