Catholic Bishops bemoan insecurity; call for immediate arrest and prosecution of perpetrators.
Concerned at the unprecedented level of insecurity in Nigeria currently, the Catholic bishops in the country under the aegis of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has called for the arrest and prosecution of all those suspected to be responsible for the situation.
The conference has also condemned the forceful seisure and occupation of people’s lands by herdsmen with no reprimand fromantic government.
Nigeria is currently faced by insecurity arising from the activities of the Boko haram group, herdsmen, who engage in abductions and killing of citizens with particular celebration of slaughtering Christians.
Lives are being lost on daily basis, houses, mosques and churches razed down and even communities sacked in some cases. Not even Mr. President ‘s home state is spared.
Recently the priests and seminarians of the Catholic fold became their targets with their kidnap and even murder.
A young seminarian who they sent to his early grave was painfully laid to rest about a fortnight ago and last year some priests were burnt in a church in Benue state.
Apparently irked by all these happenings with seemingly no serious effort to apprehend and punish perpetrators, the Bishops say it is enough already.
According to the statement, no one is being punished for all these blood letting, “that citizens don’t hear about the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators is more scary.”
They say the activities of boko haram group and herdsmen who engage in abduction amongst other crimes traumatise the citizens who now live in fear whether inside their homes or outside.
The bishops reminded the authorities that there cannot be peace without adequate security and urged them to end the brutality against Christians and the mission of annihilation of Christian faithful.
They are therefore calling on the universal church and the international community to wade into the situation to prevent the likely impact of consequences on sub saharan Africa should those fueling this situation succeed in their plan.
The message was read at the Mater Dei cathedral church, Umuahia diocese by the Secretary of the Bishop, Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji on Ash Wednesday, the day that begins the lenten period for Christians, to enable prayers to be said for all those who died as a result of the insecurity, displaced or lost their property to the ugly situation within the period of forty days.
They equally had words for some persons as they stated; “this is no time for compromise for personal interest,” all that every Christian should do now is to adopt perseverance in God and courage to pull through this time.
The bishops are however hopeful amidst sadness of God’s redemption as the only way out of the present predicament.
Most persons wore black to the mass today in solidarity with the slain brethren.
Bishop Ugorji in his homily enjoined Christians to observe a better spiritual life within the period of lent by living in denial of some pleasures, and abstaining from some acts.
He also encencouraged them to practise alms giving by ensuring that those things they deny themselves from having will be five to the poor and less privileged ones.
Highlight of the mass was the application of the symbolic ash on the foreheads of those present to signify the nothingness of man and his repentance as well.