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CAN to FG: Ensure prompt release of Boko Haram captives

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Monday urged the Federal Government to deploy adequate public resources towards securing the release of all Christians held in the captivity of two factions of Boko Haram terrorists.

The President of CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, made the call in a statement in Abuja.

He said: “The Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria in Michika, Adamawa State, Rev. Lawan Andimi, was abducted by Boko Haram terrorists when they invaded the predominantly Christian community.

“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 making an appeal to the Federal Government, the Adamawa State Governor, and the leadership of CAN to come to his aide.

“As if that was not enough, there was a bandit attack on Kasaya village, another Christian community in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State Monday at 6:30 a.m. where they abducted 41 people, including a Pastor, Rev. Joshua Samaila. Up till now, nobody knows what has become of them.

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“Also, Mr. Bitrus Bwala, a principal lecturer at the College of Education Gashua in Yobe State and 10 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 evidences 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, Fulani herdsmen killers and bandits are in the custody of the security agencies? How many of them have been arraigned in court?

“We once again call on the Federal Government and all the security agencies to expedite actions with a view to 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 called on the United Nations, the United States, the United Kingdom and other developed nations to assist the government in securing the lives of the people.

“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,” it added.

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