The Catholic Mission in Nigeria has organised a nationwide prayer and peaceful protest against incessant killings and attacks in some region of the country.
Catholics in Edo, Oyo, Benue, Lagos, Kaduna, Adamawa, Kwara states and other parts of the country on Tuesday occupied the streets marching peacefully.
The Bishop of Yola Diocese, Most Rev. Stephen Mamza, during the procession in Yola, urged government to do more on security to end the killings, particularly in Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Borno and Zamfara states.
Mamza said “the demonstration and mass taking place today is for all; Christians, Muslims and traditionalists. Life is gift from God and life is sacred.
“I call on Christians to pray against this evil that is trying to consume us.
“We must seek legitimate ways to protect our lives and property.”
While lamenting cases of abductions by insurgents, the bishop called for more effort by government to secure the release of Leah Sharibu, the only schoolgirl kidnapped from Dapchi secondary school in Yobe by
Boko Haram, and others still under insurgent’s captivity.
The bishop also spoke on disarmament of communities in conflicts areas, and urged for its implementation without discrimination.
“There should be no sacred cow in the disarmament process because we had an incident where a community was disarmed only to be attacked same day.”
The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins, said the protest is in line with the directive from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria.
He added that the protest is also in solidarity with those killed in Benue State, including two Catholic priests who were brutally murdered during mass.
The peaceful protest coincides with the burial of the 17 church members and the two priests killed during a mass in Benue State.
Catholics in Edo State started their peaceful protest from the St. Paul’s Catholic Cathedral Airport Road Benin, the state capital and marched to the Holy Cross Cathedral Mission road.
In Osun State, members marched from our Lady of Fatima Catholic Hospital, Jaleyemi, Osogbo to the Osun state capital to the House of Assembly to register their displeasure over the killings.
The Vicar General, Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Very Reverend Father Thaddeus Olaolu Ajayi told journalists that Nigerians need to embrace peace and love rather than engage in killings.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to do all in his capacity to ensure that the lives of Nigerians are safe just as he called on perpetrators of evil to desist from it and not incur the wrath of God.
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