NIGERIA: “Our Joy Is Stolen; Our Esteem Wounded,” Bishop Kundi Decries Insecurity and Incessant Attacks on Clergy

By Odiwuor Opiyo

KADUNA, AUGUST 30, 2022 (CISA) – “…No one is safe in Nigeria as the government of the day cannot even protect itself – to say nothing of protecting the rest of us the masses,” says Rt Rev Julius Yakubu Kundi, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan in Kaduna State, Nigeria, in an interview with The Pillar published on August 30.

Bishop Kundi taking the ‘opportunity to express the fears, uncertainties and deep concerns of people and the Church’ expressed, “We are facing a situation that could best be described as a state of near-anarchy. What we see and experience here is an evil onslaught unleashed upon the Church.”

“An honest assessment of the security situation in Kaduna, therefore, is that life for us has suddenly become short, brutish, and difficult. Our joy is stolen; our esteem wounded,” he sustained.

The prelate further called on the people in the country to change the already deplorable situation.

“I feel enough is enough… The people can change the situation by becoming more politically aware of their rights, and the category of persons they vote into power,” postulated Bishop Kundi

“I have called on all our people to ‘speak’ to their votes with all seriousness before casting them. By this I mean to pray and express a wish over the vote so that their exercise will not be in futility like before,” he said.

The 54-year-old bishop was speaking on the continued terrorist attacks meted against Christians by perceived Islamist extremists who are rampant in the Southern Kaduna State of Nigeria.

“For more than 5 years now, we have witnessed a deliberate and calculated attempt at wiping out and displacing major indigenous ethnic groups in the northern part of Nigeria. Thousands of our innocent people, in several states but especially in southern Kaduna, are being massacred without any provocation by the well-known Fulani terrorists, under the watch of a democratically elected government, sworn in to protect the lives of all citizens,” decried Bishop Kundi.

Kaduna is best described as the epicenter of insecurity rocking the country with six Catholic priests kidnapped in the year 2022 alone. The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has unceasingly spoken against the indiscriminate killings, constantly challenging the government to put a halt to the spate of insecurity and even called on the president to resign.

The Church, according to Bishop Kundi, “continues to preach peace to all peace-loving citizens of this country and keep strengthening our parishioners to remain strong and shun any attempt to get involved in anything evil and contrary to gospel values.”