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.Archbishop Augustine Akubeze
8 August 2020
INSECURITY IN NIGERIA: STOP THE KILLING NOW
We, the members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria have been following the recent events in Nigeria closely. We continue to hear of increasing insecurity and unabated acts of terrorism in Northern Nigeria. We are all tired of this situation. We do not want any politician to politicize the killing 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 Southern Kaduna. We want all the people suffering the incessant attacks in Southern Kaduna to know that all Catholics in Nigeria are praying for them. We call on the Federal and the Government of Kaduna to bring a complete stop to the killing of innocent people. The loss of the life of any Nigerian does not help to further the agenda of any religious ideology or the ambition of any politician. The perpetrators of the killings must be brought to justice. Where there is no justice or justice is not seen to be done, there cannot be peace. 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.
We need not remind Nigerians that the present Federal Government came to power, promising Nigerians, the eradication of corruption, a guarantee of security to life and property, and rapid growth in the economy. The creation of jobs, and an enabling environment that engenders growth of the private sector; a significant increase in the supply of electricity to Nigerians, affordable and quality health care to Nigerians, and the revamping of the educational sector were the promises the Government continues to make. Many Nigerians, irrespective of political party affiliation, will affirm that these promises have remained a far cry. We strongly appeal to Nigerians to unite together in calling the Federal Government to give priority to these areas of our lives.
To all Catholics, we request that you join in praying, one Our Father, three Hail Marys, 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.
Finally, as we pray, we know that God wants us to do what is humanly possible to ensure that there are prosperity and freedom for every Nigerian, Let us not harbour hatred for anyone. We must be instruments of forgiveness and reconciliation. We must be on the part of justice for all and peace in Nigeria. May God grant eternal rest to all who have lost their lives to the violence in Northern Nigeria and other parts of the country. May God give us courage to work for justice and peace in Nigeria. May God bless Nigeria.
For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria
+ Augustine Obiora Akubeze
Archbishop of Benin City and
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria