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“Is the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe-Ibas, not a Christian” – Presidency reply to CAN after the organisation asked that military chiefs be sacked

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The Presidency has faulted the claim of the Christian Association of Nigeria that the federal government should reconstitute the leadership of the security forces in the country to brace up its fight against terrorism and insurgency.

CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, had said on Thursday, while reacting to the decapitation of Rev Lawan Andimi, CAN Chairman in Michika Local Government Area of  Adamawa State by Boko Haram insurgents that “the Christian body demanded an overhaul of the security council with a view to bringing in new heads of all the security agencies and the para-military organisations which no religion or part of the country will dominate”.

But the President, Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement said on Friday that a different leadership of the nation’s security forces did not guarantee that insurgency would vanish from the country, adding that no religion or part of the country dominates the leadership of the security forces.

Adesina said, “Are you saying under a different leadership of our security forces, insurgency will vanish after they wave their fingers? Why mix the wheat and chaff together? In the leadership of the security forces as we have it now, is the position of Chief of Defence Staff not held by General Abayomi Olonisakin, who is also a pastor? Is he not a member of CAN? Is the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe-Ibas, not a Christian, and under the banner of CAN?”

“Listening to the organization, you would think not even half a Christian is in the leadership of the security forces.

“If the leadership of the security forces would be changed, it is a sitting President that has the prerogative. It will not happen when CAN begins to make such demand.”

Adesina added, “The insecurity in the country is not about any religion. It is pure evil, from the pit of hell”.

“So, let the Church be fully involved in supplication for divine intervention in the country, rather than playing subtle politics and unwittingly generating hate in the land,” he said.

NewsWireNGR recalls that Boko Haram insurgents had killed Lawan Andimi, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika local government area of Adamawa state.  

On Christmas eve, a faction of Boko Haram affiliated to the Islamic State, killed 11 Christian captives in Borno.The Islamic State sub-group called Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) said the “beheading” of the hostages was part of its campaign to “avenge” the killing of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a US military raid in Syria last October.

A video had emerged purportedly showing the execution of a Nigerian Christian by a young boy from an ISIS-affiliated terror group. 

The horrific footage, released by ISIS’s Amaq ‘news agency’, shows a child of around eight years old carrying out the execution in an unidentified outdoor area of Borno, Nigeria

The child in the video warns other Christians: ‘We won’t stop until we take revenge for all the blood that was spilled.’

An image taken from the distressing footage has been shared online by SITE Intelligence Group, an organisation which tracks the activity of jihadist groups. 

ISIS has routinely used young children, dubbed ‘cubs of the Caliphate’, to carry out the killings of prisoners in propaganda videos.

The Islamic State’s West Africa branch was formed after a faction broke away from Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram in 2016. 

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