NIGERIA: Church Invites International Community to Assist Fight Insecurity

ABUJA, FEBRUARY 28, 2020 (CISA)-The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has asked the International Community to help the country fight ethnic insecurity and terrorist groups.

A statement released by the bishops and read to in churches across the country on Ash Wednesday, February 26 warned that continued cases of insecurity in Nigeria is not only a threat to west Africa region but also Africa as a whole.

“Barbaric executions of Christians by the Boko Haram insurgents and the incessant cases of kidnapping for ransom linked to the same group and other terrorists have traumatized many citizens,” reads the statement signed by Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze of Benin City, president of the Nigerian bishops’ conference, and the secretary, Bishop Camillus Raymond Umoh of Ikot Ekpene.

According to the bishops, Christians have been targeted by Boko Haram as well as by bandits seeking to extort money from the church.

“The level of insecurity in Nigeria today is such that whether at home or on the road, most Nigerians, in all the parts of the country, live in fear,” the bishops said further calling on the government to “immediately put a stop to this unprecedented wave of violence and brutality aimed particularly at Christians.”

“We also call for the arrest and prosecution of all those behind these senseless killings that sow the dangerous seeds of hate and distrust among the various segments of Nigerian society,” they said.

They also condemned how many communities in Nigeria are continuously threatened and harassed by herders, who use violence to take land for grazing their cattle.

“All arms of government should remember their responsibility to protect Nigerians,” the bishops said warning that continued insecurity will slow development and national growth.

As Lent begins, the bishops invited Christians and persons of good will to unite in prayer and penance for peace and security in Nigeria.