From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has demanded that the President, Muhammadu Buhari, direct the military, the police and other other security agencies to effect the safe release of the kidnapped Kaduna Pastor, Popoola David Kayode, of Calvary Baptist Church, Kurmin Mashi, Kaduna State.
Pastor Kayode was abducted by some unknown gunmen barely 24 hours after the abduction of 140 students of Bethel Baptist High School, Damishin, Chukun Local Government Area also in Kaduna State.
CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, in a statement released in Abuja, on Thursday, warned that the case of Pastor Kayode, should not be like the case of Rev. Lawan Andimi, district chairman of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) and CAN Chairman of Michika Local Government Area who was abducted and killed by Boko Haram some years ago.
Daramola said: 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.
“Mr. President, where shall we go from here? Have the criminals taken over where there is legitimate government? Though, we are praying earnestly continuously, we know faith without hard work from the side of government is vain. While we are aware you are doing your best, but your best is not good enough to Nigerians and in the eyes of the whole world. The bitter truth is that no place is safe again in this country.
“It’s time government rise to this menace of insecurity challenges occasioned by some criminals who are operating with impunity as terrorists, killer-herdsmen, bandits and armed robbers. The impression that is being created in the mind of the people is that the government knows these criminals but only refused to bring them to book but rather, treats them with kids gloves.”
Meanwhile, CAN has called on Nigerians, Christians and non-Christians, 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.
CAN also requested that they pray to God to help the government to be sensitive to the ordeals and yearnings of the people, end the bandits’ attacks on schools and colleges where the innocent children are being exposed to psychological trauma, thus creating phobia for the young ones who are eager to acquire education.