ABUJA JUNE 24, 2016 (CISA) – Bishop Godfrey Igwebuike Onah of the Catholic diocese of Nsukka encouraged his people to promote peace after the April massacre in South-eastern Nigeria which left dozens of local Christians dead.
“Although we may find it hard to forgive the violent attack that has brought us so much grief, we know that an unforgiving spirit will never bring us peace,” Bishop Onah of Nsukka said at a burial service for nine of the victims last week, reported CNA.
Invaders who were suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attacked the Nimbo community in the locality of Uzo-Uwani in South-eastern Nigeria’s Enugu State.
The marauders killed scores of people, slaughtered livestock, burnt houses and destroyed several properties, including a Catholic church.
The displaced natives fled to neighbouring communities for fear of insecurity, and further attacks. The bishop encouraged mourners to “turn to God in gratitude, with faith, hope and charity,” and prayed that the region will never witness a similar tragedy, reported the Catholic News Agency.
“Our faith assures us that those who die in the Lord are freed from the sorrows of this life and rest forever in the calm security of God’s love in heaven,” the prelate said and added, “We are grateful to God, our merciful Father, that some of us are still alive today to bury and mourn our dead.”
The bishop called on the government not to consider laws that would deprive farmers of their farmland and sustenance to provide grazing grounds for Fulani cattle herdsmen and also warned that criminal elements appear to be using the cattle herdsmen “as a cover for penetrating many villages and perpetrating heinous crimes.” Bishop Onah prayed for those who proclaim love and consolation to the people.
“May he continue to bless all those who have allowed themselves to be used as instruments of his love and consolation.”
According to CNA, attendees at the memorial service included Anglican pastors and scores of Catholic clergy and Enugu State’s Government Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who promised mourners that such killings will never happen again.