World Council of Churches Begs Buhari to Protect Christians
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
An appeal has been made to President Muhammadu Buhari to endeavour to protect the lives of Nigerians, especially Christians, who are being killed by terrorists and armed persons.
In a joint appeal, the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation expressed grief at the continuing violence in the country.
The two bodies sent an SOS to Mr Buhari as a result of the killing of a Christian leader in Adamawa State, Mr Lawan Andimi, by a notorious terrorists’ group, Boko Haram, some days ago.
In the letter, the organisations said, “The recent execution of Rev. Lawan Andimi by Boko Haram, one of the latest atrocities in a long and painful history of extremist violence in the region and despite the proclaimed defeat of the insurgents, impels us to convey this appeal to you,” emphasising that, “If the clergy are targeted, ordinary community members are even more at risk.”
The two organizations condemn all senseless killings and attacks that target people – Christians and Muslims alike – on the basis of their religious identity.
“Your government says that it has defeated the insurgency of Boko Haram,” reads the letter. “And yet attacks, kidnappings, extortion, sectarian killings, rapes and the abduction of young girls by these and other extremist groups continues unabated,” it added.
Indeed, the appeal continues, the intensity of such attacks has increased significantly in recent weeks. “Faith in the commitment and effectiveness of your government for the protection of Nigerian citizens belonging to these targeted communities has reached a very low ebb,” the letter read. “Among other things, we urge you to reform the security apparatus, and ensure that senior security officials are representative of the diversity of communities in Nigeria and that their actions are effective in protecting all the communities concerned.”
It said the current situation in Nigeria requires resolute leadership to end these atrocities, urges the appeal, “The risks for the future of Nigeria in the absence of such leadership and action are grave. We pray that God grant you wisdom, resolve and strength to confront these challenges.”