The kidnapped Chair of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has been executed by members of the terrorist group Boko Haram.
Rev Lawan Andimi was abducted in Adamawa state on 2 January by terrorists wearing military fatigues after they ransacked Michika town and forced him into a vehicle.
Nigerian investigative journalist and Boko Haram expert Ahmed Salkida tweeted on Tuesday that he had received a video of the beheadings of Rev Andimi and an unnamed soldier at 2.42pm.
Mr Salkida wrote: “To break some news items can traumatize. I’m battling with one of such. Reverend Andimi, abducted by #BokoHaram was executed yesterday. Rev. Andimi was a church leader, a father to his children and the community he served. My condolences go to his family.”
In a video message released after his abduction, Rev Andimi had appealed to his colleagues at CAN and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN – Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) to petition the Adamawa state governor and other officials on his behalf to secure his release.
He had spoken of his confidence at being reunited with his family and colleagues “by the grace of God” but also said that he was trusting God “because all conditions [in which one] finds himself is in the hands of God”.
“If the opportunity has not been granted, maybe it is the will of God,” he said.
He ended his message by comforting his loved ones and telling them to give thanks to God.
“Don’t cry, don’t worry, but thank God for everything,” he said.
Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide condemned Rev Andimi’s murder.
“CSW condemns the brutal murder of Reverend Andimi in the strongest terms, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and denomination,” he said.
“As Christians, knowing there is life after death, we nevertheless value the gift of this life, and we join in mourning an uncommonly courageous man, who despite knowing death was a very real prospect, maintained a calm and deep faith that will continue to inspire for generations.”
“The resurgence of both factions of Boko Haram is emblematic of the increasing insecurity in the country, and Nigerian civilians are bearing the brunt of it. In view of the multiplicity of armed non state actors currently operating in Nigeria, CSW reiterates that rising levels of insecurity throughout the country constitute a threat to sustainable investment and development.
“Once again, we urge the Government of the United Kingdom to raise the alarming deterioration in security with President Buhari, impressing upon him the urgent need for a comprehensive and effective solution, and offering assistance if necessary.”
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