…Declare 2 days of national prayers
Catholic Bishops across the country have expressed concern over the alarming spate of violence, bombings and killings of innocent citizens in the North Eastern part of Nigeria and beyond.
The bishops under the aegis of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) declared in a communiqué that while Nigeria bleeds and burns, the government must rise to its duty of protecting the lives and property of its people.
The statement signed by the President of the CBCN, Most Rev Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, and Secretary, Most Rev. William Avenya clearly noted that this is not the time to play politics, as it does not matter who becomes the President, but putting the lives of the people first and restoring peace and unity to the country.
“As Nigeria tragically bleeds and burns, we Bishops are really alarmed at the scale of human, material destruction, and the disruption of village and community life with increased levels of hatred and potentials for more conflicts in the nation. While Muslims are sometimes targets of these destructive attacks, Christians, Churches and non- Muslims in general are the principal targets for extermination, expropriation and expulsion by the Boko Haram insurgents, the perpetrators of all these destructions.
“We believe that we still have governments- at Federal and State- levels, whose primary duty it is to preserve and protect the life of every Nigerian irrespective of tribe, religion, social class, or tradition.
“In the face of this Boko Haram group and other criminal militias arming themselves beyond our legitimate government, and brazenly killing innocent, defenseless citizens, our government must do more than it is currently doing to safeguard our lives and defend our nation. It must do more than it is currently doing to fight off and disarm these actual destroyers of Nigerians and Nigeria. It must do more than it is currently doing to prevent segments of our nation from drifting, anarchy and mutual self-destruction and bring criminals to justice.
“We warn every Nigerian community at local and state levels to be alert to the grave danger facing all of us and our nation from within and from without. The issue is not about who becomes president or governor or senator after the 2015 general elections. The issue is about the life and security of every one of us who loves his or her life and really cares about our living together in peace as noble Nigerians,” the statement read.
Describing the ordeal of many Nigerians in the hard hit areas, the bishops called for a joint effort from all citizens, communities and leaders at various levels to support the government as it strives to put an end to the violence; and in the meantime, offer assistance to affected persons, families and areas, as many have been made homeless as the violence rages.
“Our Second Annual Plenary meeting in Warri Diocese, Delta State, has been daily strained by first-hand and horrifying reports
reaching us from Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Kano and Kaduna states about the mass slaughter of fellow Nigerians; the burning and sacking of whole villages and churches and rectories. Families and individuals are forced to seek places of refuge outside their invaded homes and lands.
“In fact, one of our bishops from those zones of current tragedy had to leave our meeting abruptly because of thousands of refugees that had flocked to his Cathedral and its premises, expecting protection and feeding from the bishop and his diocese. Unfortunately, the situation right now, in the North East, only confirms further killings, burnings and fleeing of defenseless Nigerians, creating a heightened sense of unrest and siege for the whole nation.
“We urge therefore that we all support and encourage every positive effort by the current government to protect every Nigerian and defend the integrity and unity of Nigeria. Let us equally take lawful measures locally to prevent the destruction of fellow Nigerians and to ward off Nigeria’s destroyers.
“We have mandated our CARITAS (charity/emergency) office to immediately provide funds and succor to all affected peoples as is within our capacity. We urge government and every endowed Nigerian to reach out in charity and solidarity to rehabilitate and support our displaced brothers and sisters wherever they are and so sustain our God-given human dignity.
“These are critical times for our country and everyone in position of authority must do everything possible to save our dear country, Nigeria,” the statement further read.
The bishops also declared a two-day national all night prayers scheduled for 13th and 14th of November, 2014 in Abuja to intercede for the nation.
…Declare 2 days of national prayers