NIGERIA: Bishops Call for an End to Killings in North Nigeria

By Njoki Githinji

ABUJA, AUGUST 11, 2020 (CISA)-The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has called on the government to put an end to killings in North Nigeria.

“We continue to hear of increasing insecurity and unabated acts of terrorism in Northern Nigeria. We are all tired of this situation…We call on the Federal and the government of Kaduna to bring a complete stop to the killing of innocent people,” the conference said in an August 8 statement signed by Archbishop Augustine Akubeze Obiora, President of CBCN.

Warning politicians against politicizing the violence, the bishops called for a collective voice against the killings and urged government to give justice to the victims for the sake of peace and development of the troubled areas.

“We do not want any politician to politicize the killings of Nigerians. There should be one response from everyone and that is; the killings must stop. Our hearts are bleeding and we are more troubled when we hear of the massacre presently going on in Kaduna. …the perpetrators of the killings must be brought to justice. Where there is no justice or no justice is not seen to be done, there cannot be peace,” they said.

“Where there is no peace there cannot be development. Any government, state or federal that wants peace must work for justice for everyone. There will never be sustained development built upon the bloodshed of innocent people brutally murdered by religious fundamentalists without any recourse to justice for the victims,” they added.

The prelates also called all Catholics to a collective 40 days of prayer for the violence to end.

“To all Catholics, we request that you join in praying  one our Father, three Hail Mary’s and one Glory be to the Father every day after the Angelus for forty days, starting from 22 August 2020 and ending 30 September 2020,the eve of Nigeria’s Independence day. On Independence Day let us join in praying the five decades of the sorrowful mysteries starting from 12 noon. We appeal to each bishop to encourage the faithful in his diocese to participate fully in this prayer for God to save Nigeria.”