The presidency made this declaration on Friday against the background of the outburst of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over the murder of the chairman of the association’s branch in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Reverend Lawan Andimi, by Boko Haram.
The association had addressed a world press conference on Thursday through its president, Dr Samson Ayokunle, where it observed that the country’s security system had failed and therefore asked President Muhammadu Buhari to overhaul it and appoint visionary military officers to head the armed forces and other security agencies.
“As long as the government continues to live in denial and fail to face the reality, these criminals will not stop their criminalities. We are almost losing hope in government’s ability to protect Nigerians, especially Christians who have become endangered species under its watch,” CAN said.
It equally rejected President Buhari’s reaction to Andimi’s killing and then accused the Federal Government of complicity in what it called the prevailing attacks on the church.
But the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, took to his Facebook page on Friday and slammed CAN for its critical stance against the government.
“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?
“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 in what should be a sober condolence press statement. Don’t mix bias and sympathy. They don’t mesh,” he said.
Adesina, in his lengthy Facebook post, said CAN got it wrong on its position on the beheaded Adamawa cleric, declaring that “too many things were mixed together, which the apex Christian body in the country should have been mindful of, lest it departs from the mind and essence of Jesus Christ, our perfect example.
“CAN says kidnappings and killings are shameful to a government that boasts that it has conquered insurgency. Boasts. So that is all that matters to CAN, as if it was an opposition political party? Boasts. No. This would not augur for unity and cohesion in a country.
“We are not asking the Christian body to be in bed with government, that would not help anybody, but the organisation has been sounding too long like a political party. We daily learn to walk with Jesus. His spirit is not an unduly critical one. And He left us an example ‘that ye should follow in his steps,’” the presidential aide said.