Boko Haram murders kidnapped Church leader in Nigeria
Boko Haram has announced that it has killed Pastor Lawan Andimi, a leading Church figure, kidnapped in north-east Nigeria by the Islamist terrorist group on 2 January.
A video announcing the pastor’s execution, which took place on 20 January, was released today by Boko Haram via its regular journalist contact, Ahmad Salkida. It is not known how Pastor Andimi, who leaves behind a wife and seven children, was killed.
Pastor Andimi, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), was abducted in Adamawa State during a series of Boko Haram attacks in the region.
In a video released by his captors on 5 January, the pastor had called on senior CAN colleagues to ask the State governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, to intercede for his release. It is thought that the church was involved in negotiations with the captors when Pastor Andimi was killed.
In his poignant statement, Pastor Andimi had told his family and colleagues not to cry or worry about him but to “thank God for everything”.
“I have never been discouraged because all conditions that one finds himself is in the hands of God. By the grace of God, I will be together with my wife, my children and my colleagues. If the opportunity has not been granted, maybe it is the will of God,” he said.
A regional analyst in contact with Barnabas has warned that there are indications that Boko Haram is extending its territory in north-east Nigeria. At least four murderous Islamist attacks have taken place in the region in less than a month, including the beheading of ten Christian men and shooting of an eleventh by Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP). The past year has also seen a significant increase in Boko Haram activity in neighbouring Far North Cameroon. The expert raised concerns that the group may be progressively combining forces with other terrorist militia including ISWAP, Fulani herdsmen and Al Shabaab.
From Barnabas Fund contacts
Widows, orphans and other victims of violence in Nigeria – you can help them today
“Thank God for everything,” said kidnapped Pastor Lawan Andimi, in a video message to his loved ones, as he urged them not to cry or worry about him. “I have never been discouraged because all conditions that one finds himself is in the hands of God. By the grace of God, I will be together with my wife, my children and my colleagues. If the opportunity has not been granted, maybe it is the will of God.”
But Pastor Andimi never did see his family again on earth, for his kidnappers killed him last Monday (20 January 2020).
Pastor Andimi’s beloved nephew, John, shared with Barnabas Fund how Pastor Andimi had been content for God’s will to be done, whatever it was.
A main target of Islamist militants
Pastor Andimi had been targeted by Islamist militants for years. He survived attacks in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Finally, after a warning in December 2019, he was seized on 2 January 2020. An impossibly large ransom was demanded and then he was killed. Why did the militants try so hard and so long to get this one man?
Pastor Andimi, who left Islam to follow the Lord Jesus about 40 years ago, had led many other Muslims to Christ, especially in his home area of Chibok. One convert was his father-in-law, who had been a famous Muslim mallam (Quranic scholar), and is now still serving the Lord, at the age of about 90. Pastor Andimi was therefore a prime target of Boko Haram.
But many other Nigerian Christians have died or been made homeless by Boko Haram and other violent Islamist groups. When Boko Haram attempted to kill Pastor Andimi in June 2015 a whole village was burned down and 113 people died.
Help Barnabas help the survivors
Pastor Andimi will see his wife and seven children again in heaven, but who will support them on earth now that the main breadwinner has been taken from them? The oldest three are married, and his widow Auwa has a small business selling honey and fish – but that is not enough to support four dependent children. Praise God the local government in Nigeria has undertaken to cover their school fees.
Barnabas Fund is sending rice, beans, corn and maize for immediate household food needs. We are also sending funds to help Auwa expand her business so she can increase her income.
Through our “Victims of Violence in Nigeria” project, we help many other Nigerian Christians, including rebuilding homes destroyed by violent attack. Please share with us in the privilege of bringing them aid:
1 sack of rice costs £35 ($46; €42)
1 sack of beans costs £42 ($55; €50)
Typical cost to repair one house £1,300 ($1,700; €1,500)
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