Boko Haram Murders Pastor in Nigeria
Rev. Lawan Andimi Refused to Deny Christ
01/23/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Boko Haram, the Islamic insurgent group based out of northeastern Nigeria, has executed Reverend Lawan Andimi, who served as the Local Council Chapter Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and also as a pastor with the Church of the Brethren Nigeria (EYN) at the District Church Council of Michika. Rev. Lawan was abducted when the insurgent group attacked his town on January 2. The pastor is survived by his wife and nine children.
Less than a week after his abduction, Boko Haram released a proof of life video in which Rev. Lawan asked for the governor of Adamawa to help secure his release. He, however, also said that he was not scared. He said, “I have never been discouraged because of all conditions that one finds himself is in the hand of God.” He continued to explain that he felt no anger or hatred toward those who had taken him, saying, “I believe they didn’t do anything wrong to me. I still believe God, who made them to act in such a way, is still alive and will make all arrangements. By the grace of God, I will be together with my wife and my children and all my colleagues. If the opportunity has not been granted, maybe it is the will of God.”
Despite his courage and strong faith, the group, believed to be part of the Abubakar Shekau faction, executed Rev. Lawan on Monday, January 20. According to reports, Boko Haram was demanding a two million euro ransom for the release of Andimi, but the local church, which has been devastated after years of Boko Haram harassment, was only able to raise approximately 4,000 euros.
Rev. Tomborokai Robert Gajere, the former chaplain for the government house in Yola, Adamawa, told ICC, “We are all saddened by the news of the assassination of Rev. Andimi. I used to call him my storytelling friend. The news took all of us by surprise…We are really in shock.” When asked which sect of Boko Haram he thought was responsible, he said they first thought it had been Fulani militias, but was sad and scared to find out it was actually Boko Haram.
Rev. Eston Nzelanyeine, the vice-chairman of the Numan branch of CAN, said that he and other clergy in Adamawa are now fearful of attacks. He said, “My brother, I felt so bad and confused. It makes me feel so unsafe as well. For my fellow brethren in the ministry of Christ to be killed like that, after his appeal in a tape released by Boko Haram; I am so scared. We do not have a government.” These kinds of continued attacks have lessened the faith of the people in their government’s ability and desire to protect them.
Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, said, “Attacks on Christians continue to grow in northeastern Nigeria since late last year. This attack, along with the killing of another pastor in Adamawa, has shown a great desire by Boko Haram to attack and kill Christians. Along with the video of the 11 killed on Christmas, Boko Haram has shown that they have a special hatred for Christians above other groups in Nigeria. The Nigerian government must do more to stop the spread of Boko Haram before they kill thousands more.”