Rescue pastor held by Boko Haram, CAN tells Buhari


More than two months after his capture by Boko Haram insurgents, Pastor Yakuru of EYN Church of the Brethren in Borno State is still being held captive, the Christian Association of Nigeria said on Saturday.

The President of CAN, Dr Samson Ayokunle, said these in a statement titled, ‘President Buhari should rescue Pastor Yakuru from his captors and save the nation from collapsing.’

According to him, if former US President, Donald Trump, could order the military to rescue one American abducted by the insurgents in Nigeria, nothing should stop the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), from doing the same.

The organization also advised that all public secondary schools – boarding or otherwise – in the Northern part of Nigeria should be shut down henceforth until the security situation improves.

Ayokunle said, “Pastor Yakuru of EYN Church of the Brethren was reportedly abducted on December 24 2020 when the terrorists attacked Pemi Village in Borno State and killed no fewer than seven people.

“The Pastor who has been in the custody of the Abubakar Shekau-led faction of Boko Haram since December last year was on Wednesday, February 24 reportedly given a one-week ultimatum for their demands to be met by government or Pastor Yakuru will be killed.

“Although we are not aware of the demand, our appeal is to the President, the military and the Borno State government to ensure that Pastor Yakuru is not murdered like the district chairman of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria and CAN Chairman of Michika Local Government in Adamawa State, Rev Lawan Andimi.

“The leadership of CAN believes that the freedom of Pastor Yakuru is a litmus test for the new service chiefs and the whole world is watching whether they will live up to the expectations of or not.

“If the then American President, Donald Trump could put his acts together from far away America and ordered his military to rescue one kidnapped American in Nigeria, then our President has no excuse or whatsoever not to act decisively and rescue Pastor Yakuru.

“Why should the government leave the citizens of this country at the mercy of insurgents, bandits and kidnappers? What then is the essence of having a government in place?

“The most recent case of kidnapping is that of about 300 schoolgirls in Kangere, Zamfara State. This serial incident of mass abduction of our school children and citizens is shocking beyond words and must be stopped by this government immediately.

“The ease with which the bandits and insurgents are carrying out their nefarious activities is totally embarrassing and a cause for concern.

“When will this government give the citizens of this country cause to breathe a sigh of relief with assurance that their lives and property are safe and secured? Mr. President, where shall we go from here? Have the criminals taken over when there is a 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 that you may be doing your best, your best is not the best yet going by the current negative outcomes.

“The bitter truth is that no place is presently safe in this country. We, once again, advise that all public secondary schools – boarding or otherwise – in the Northern part of the country should be closed henceforth until the security situation improves.

“The police should be directed to recruit more personnel with a view to assigning effective and well-armed standby force to every secondary school in the North and other parts of the country. From all indications, it is high time the government declared a state of emergency in the security sector of the country.

“We also call for adequate funding, training, equipping and morale-boosting of our security forces in order to enhance their performances nationwide. It seems the banditry is more dangerous than COVID – 19. While individuals can protect themselves from the pandemic, the same cannot be said of the security challenges. Let the government stop every frivolous spending and focus more on ending the menace of insecurity challenges.

“May God intervene for us in this nation where human efforts have failed in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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