GENEVA, Switzerland, January 27, 2020/ — In a joint appeal to Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation expressed grief at the continuing violence in Nigeria and urged the Nigerian government to better protect the people.
“The recent execution of Rev. Lawan Andimi by Boko Haram, one of the latest atrocities in a long and painful history of extremist violence in the region and despite the proclaimed defeat of the insurgents, impels us to convey this appeal to you,” the letter reads. “If the clergy are targeted, ordinary community members are even more at risk.”
The two organizations condemn all senseless killings and attacks that target people – Christians and Muslims alike – on the basis of their religious identity.
“Your government says that it has defeated the insurgency of Boko Haram,” reads the letter. “And yet attacks, kidnappings, extortion, sectarian killings, rapes and the abduction of young girls by these and other extremist groups continues unabated.”
Indeed, the appeal continues, the intensity of such attacks has increased significantly in recent weeks. “Faith in the commitment and effectiveness of your government for the protection of Nigerian citizens belonging to these targeted communities has reached a very low ebb,” the letter reads. “Among other things, we urge you to reform the security apparatus, and ensure that senior security officials are representative of the diversity of communities in Nigeria and that their actions are effective in protecting all the communities concerned.”
The current situation in Nigeria requires resolute leadership to end these atrocities, urges the appeal: “The risks for the future of Nigeria in the absence of such leadership and action are grave. We pray that God grant you wisdom, resolve and strength to confront these challenges.”