Islamic extremists kill Nigerian pastor, attack his hometown
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Islamic militants in Nigeria have killed a Christian pastor who had appealed for help in a video just days earlier, and a human rights activist said Tuesday that other extremists attacked his hometown on the same day.
The Rev. Lawan Andimi was abducted earlier this month when Boko Haram militants attacked the Michika local government area, where he was the chairman of a local chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria. He was killed on Monday.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari condemned Andimi’s slaying, calling it “cruel, inhuman and deliberately provocative.”
“I am greatly saddened by the fact that the terrorists went on to kill him even while giving signals of a willingness to set him free by releasing him to third parties,” Buhari tweeted.
Osai Ojigho, director of Amnesty International in Nigeria, called it “appalling” that Boko Haram followed up Andimi’s killing on Monday with an attack on his hometown in the Chibok local government area of northeastern Borno state.
In April 2014, 276 girls were abducted from the Government Secondary School in Chibok. More than 100 are still missing nearly six years later.
Andimi is the latest Christian to be killed by Boko Haram or a breakaway faction that has ties to the Islamic State group.
On Friday, the Islamic State’s West Africa Province, known as ISWAP, released a video which showed a hooded child with pistol in hand execute a Christian man. On Christmas Day, ISWAP killed nine Christians along with two other captives.
Boko Haram and ISWAP want to enforce strict Islamic law in Nigeria and have reportedly forced some captives to convert to Islam under threat of death. Nigeria’s Christian community is calling on the government to do more to protect them.
This story was first published on Jan. 22, 2020. It has been updated to correct that the pastor appealed for help in a video, he did not plead for his life.