Boko Haram Demanded N800m Ransom for Andimi – CAN President
President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, on Thursday said Boko Haram demanded €2m (about N800m) ransom for Pastor Lawan Andimi, who was murdered by the sect on Monday.
The Christian leader explained that the insurgents initially demanded N50m and when the ransom was ready, they increased it to €2m.
Andimi, the Chairman of CAN in the Michika Local Government, Adamawa State, was abducted by Boko Haram insurgents on January 3 and subsequently killed despite being offered a N50m ransom.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Ayokunle added that Andimi was beheaded because he refused to convert to Islam.
He said, “Although, the group initially demanded 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.
“In the same state, just last Sunday, a clergyman, Rev. Denis Bagauri was murdered by 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 the Islamic State in West Africa on Christmas Day of 2019 in Maiduguri including a bride-to-be.”
Ayokunle noted that Christians had become endangered species in their own country, adding that “the nation was under a siege orchestrated by Boko Haram terrorists, Fulani terrorist herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers” gradually overwhelming our security agencies.
The marauders, he said, had been invading predominantly Christian villages and towns.
The Christian leader said the atrocities increased with the advent of democracy, and introduction of Sharia law in some northern states, which he described as an outright violation of the 1999 Constitution.
Ayokunle faulted the Federal Government’s claim that the killer herdsmen and terrorists were from Libya, adding that the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria had claimed responsibility and also justified the killings.
He noted, “The Federal Government has never deemed it fit to caution them, but instead, insisted that the herdsmen are stakeholders in the country.
“The Christian body demanded an overhaul of the security council with a view to bringing in new heads of all the security agencies and the para-military organisations “which no religion or part of the country will dominate.”
It also asked the FG to label the Miyetti Allah a terrorist organisation and arrest the leadership “who are sponsoring and perpetrating crimes in Nigeria and prosecute them for all the killings in Southern Kaduna, Benue, Plateau and Taraba states.
“The Federal Government should stop sending a delegation to all Islamic international organisations and let our Muslim counterparts be doing so as we are doing in all international Christian religious organisations.”
The CAN leadership also said it had declared January 31 to February 2, 2020, as days for special fasting and prayer for Nigeria in all churches.
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