An umbrella body of Muslims in Nigeria, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and two leading Muslim organisations in Nigeria have strongly condemned the gruesome murder of Reverend Lawan Andimi, the chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Michika Local Government Area, Adamawa state by the Boko Haram terrorist group.
Lawan, who was abducted by the terrorist group early January was on Monday killed, in a cruel manner similar to the abduction and eventual assassination of Saifura Ahmed and Hauwa Liman, the two Hijabi-Muslim health workers, in 2018.
Sultan says Boko Haram trying to incite Christians against Muslims in Nigeria
In the press release signed by Mallam Aselemi Ibrahim, NSCIA’s Head of Media and Communication, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III said the attack was barbaric, provocative and a flagship example of man inhumanity to man.
The Council believes that Boko Haram is trying to make the country ungovernable and to incite Christians against Muslims in Nigeria.
Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III expressed his heart-felt condolences to the immediate family of Pastor Lawan Andimi in particular and the leadership and members of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in general.
“We equally want to seize this opportunity to appeal to the leadership of CAN in Nigeria to be wary of the comments and statements it puts out in the public domain, so as not to play into the antics of the enemy. We should think-through and be sure that our comments are in the interest of national peace, security and cohesion.
“We want to state unequivocally that we are committed to a united Nigeria, where every one is protected and free to practice his/her religion without any encumbrances. We call on the Federal Government and the security apparati to be alive to their responsibilities of protection of lives and properties,” Sultan added.
The other organisations, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) and The Muslim Congress (TMC) also expressed their consternation and bewilderment at the killing, calling on all Nigerians regardless of religious background to unite against Boko Haram and stand up together to fight the evil in their midst.
Boko Haram targeting Christians to provoke Christians against Muslims
In a statement signed by MURIC’s Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Wednesday, argued that the terrorist group are deliberately targeting Christians for attacks in order to provoke them against their Muslim neighbors.
According to him, “It is crystal clear from the antics of Boko Haram that the group is keen on igniting a religious war. They are deliberately targeting Christians for attacks in order to provoke the Nigerian Christian community.
“But they have failed. They have failed because Nigerians understand what Boko Haram is doing. We will not fall into Boko Haram’s trap. We call on all Nigerians regardless of religious background to unite against Boko Haram. We must stand up together to fight the evil in our midst”.
Professor Akintola described the incident as horrendous, ungodly and barbaric, insisting that Boko haram is not an Islamic group.
“We reiterate our earlier declaration that Boko Haram is not an Islamic group. Rather it is a group of misled zealots. Any group that kills at will and sheds the blood of innocent people cannot represent Islam.
“What is the crime of Rev. Andimi? Being a Christian is not a crime. There are thousands of honest, hardworking, law-abiding and God-fearing Christians in this country. Every individual is free to follow any faith of his or her choice because the Qur’an forbids compulsion in religion (Glorious Qur’an 2:256) while the Nigerian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion in Section 38 (i) & (ii),” he said.
Boko Haram killing Muslims and Christians indiscriminately – TMC
In his reaction, the Amir (President) of The Muslim Congress (TMC), Dr Lukman AbdurRaheem, while condemning the killing of Reverend Lawan, said Boko Haram doesn’t target only Christians, several innocent Muslims have lost their lives to a decade-long reign of terror by the group.
“Irrespective of the factions – Abubakar Shekau or the DAESH/ISWAP led Boko Haram, Muslims and Christians are being abducted and murdered. Human beings, whose blood have been forbidden by Allah have been murdered indiscriminately by a group of brainwashed youths who hide under Islam to commit evil. There were Muslims among the Chibok and Dapchi girls. The two Muslim aid workers that were recently abducted and murdered the same way Revered Lawan was murdered on Monday,” he said.
The Amir described Boko Haram as impostors, insisting that they might claim to represent Islam but in reality, they are not Muslims, going by their ideological leanings and actions. The acts of bombing and killing, irrespective of the motives, are disliked, despised and condemned by Islam and the Qur’an.
Quoting from the glorious Qur’an 5: 32, Dr AbdurRaheem said “…If any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”
He called on all Nigerians especially the Christian community and the media not to see the Boko Haram’s senseless attacks as a Jihad against them, saying that, “Jihad doesn’t mean killing non-Muslims. In fact, in wars, unarmed monks in the monasteries, Christians in the churches and Muslims in the mosques including women, children and the aged are to be spared but today, this group hasn’t only killed indiscriminately, they have attacked mosques and churches since they started their battle.
“The sect may hold the Noble Qur’an and shout “Allahu Akbar”! That doesn’t make their actions right. This is the phenomenon of Muslim Identity Theft (MIT). They have stolen our physical appearance and pretend to be Muslims, but have satanic and occultic ideologies which are antithetical to Islam,” Amir TMC added.
The two organisations therefore called on the Federal Government to intensify and expedite action in uprooting the last vestiges of Boko Haram while also charging the Nigerian military to leave no stone unturned in its efforts to completely eliminate the insurgents.