The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari on the urgent need to facilitate the rescue of Rev Popoola Kayode of the Calvary Baptist Church, Kurmin Mashi in Kaduna State.
In a statement, Thursday, by its National General Secretary, Daramola Bade Joseph, the umbrella Christian body said history will not be kind to the President, for seemingly failing to meet his campaign promise of securing the lives and property of Nigerians.
TheFact Nigeria Recalled that the abduction of Kayode by some unknown gunmen on Tuesday, 6th July,came few days after that of at least 121 pupils of Bethel Baptist College also in Kaduna State.
Specifically, the CAN urged President Buhari to, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief, order the military and the Police to effect Popoola’s rescue.
Providing details of the incident, CAN said: “The Pastor was abducted 24 hours after the abduction of 121 students of Bethel Baptist High School, Damishin, Chukun Local Government also in Kaduna State. Although the abducted students were about 140 but some of them reportedly escaped from their captors.
“The criminals who forced their way into the school about 1:00am shooting sporadically are said to be demanding for a whooping sum of Eight Hundred Millions Naira and foodstuffs”.
According to CAN: “Our appeal to the President, the military, the Police and the Kaduna State government is to ensure Rev Popoola is not murdered like the district chairman of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) and CAN Chairman of Michika Local Government in Adamawa State, Rev Lawan Andimi.
“To us in CAN, we believe that the freedom of the Pastor is a litmus test for the Service Chiefs, especially the new Chief of Army Staff, Major General Yahaya Farouk and the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba and the whole world is watching whether they will live up to the expectations or not.
“If the then American President, Donald Trump, could put his acts together from far away America and ordered his military to rescue only one kidnapped American in Nigeria, then, our President has no excuse not to act decisively and rescue this Servant of God. Why should the government leave Nigerians to be at the mercy of the insurgents, bandits and kidnappers?
“What is the essence of having a government in place? The government that did everything to ensure that the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, was brought back to the country is strong enough to stop these criminalities if the political will is there”.
The Christian Association recalled how Apostle Johnson Suleiman, Obadiah Mailafia, Prophet Isa El-Buba and the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr Matthew Hassan Kukah’s statements were handled by security operatives and equally reacted to by the government.
It, therefore, asked: “Do we truly have sacred cows in the country now? We are curious to know how Gumi was able to locate the whereabouts of the bandits when our security agencies are giving us the impression that they are invincible.
“If the terrorists can be located by an individual, what hinders the police and the military from arresting them and bringing them to book? Is anyone in government conniving with the terrorists so that this insecurity might continue? Is Nigeria truly operating two laws?
“Now that bandits are being pampered, money is being made available to them and highly respected politicians and religious leaders are speaking for them. Who truly offended these terrorists?
“What sin did the people they are attacking and kidnapping commit against them? Why should anybody be speaking in favour of the terrorists? Nigeria’s unity is on trial and if those running the country are playing the ostrich, there may be no hope of redemption. May God save our nation.
“History will not overlook the failure of the present administration to fulfil its campaign promises to fix the security challenges”
To reverse the ugly trend, CAN advised he President to have a change of heart in his style of governance before it will be too late, noting that 2023 is not an eternity.
It onxluded by calling on all well- meaning people all over the world, Christians and non-Christians alike, “to be on their knees for the next seven days praying to God to: stop further attacks on the country by the bandits, kidnappers and terrorists”.
It further prayed that God will “help our government to be sensitive to the ordeals and yearnings of the people, end the bandits’ attacks on our schools and colleges where the innocent children are being exposed to psychological trauma, creating phobia for the young ones who are eager to learn, As well as release everyone in the captivity of the bandits and terrorists”.