NIGERIA: Concern Raised Over Religious Extremism by Masqueraders

NSUKKA APRIL 4, 2017 (CISA) – The Catholic Church and the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) have called for the prosecution of masqueraders who attacked a catholic seminarian in Nsuka.

A Catholic seminarian, Lawrence Ezeugwu, was attacked by masqueraders and beaten to coma.

In his homily at St. Joseph Catholic Church on April 2, Bishop Godfrey Onah of the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka, said masqueraders should be treated as criminals.

“It is unfortunate that in this 21st century, some youth will cover their faces, block the roads, beating and extorting money from people who are going about their legitimate businesses. The security agents should treat these criminals, who hide under the guise of masquerade as a culture to harass and harm law-abiding citizens, as terrorists and cultists,” he said.

“This is a sacrilege and abomination and the church will ensure that all those involved are brought to book and as well fight to put an end to this evil culture. As bishop of this diocese, I am ready to lay down my life in fighting to stop this man inhumanity to man by masqueraders in Nsukka, who block the roads and intimidate innocent residents,” he said.

Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), in a press statement condemned the exhibition of religious extremism by traditionalists, describing it as crude.

“Although constitution guarantees freedom of religion, thereby empowering traditionalists to freely practice their faith, it does not allow one group to laud it over another. The right of traditionalists to religious freedom stops where it begins to encroach on others’ rights and vice versa,” he said.

He called upon the federal government to act saying sanction should be applied to those who violet religious freedoms.

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