ACCORDING to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, the federal government has not displayed resolved to end the rampant killings by the Boko Haram insurgents and herdsmen in the country.
The government’s lack of commitment and insincerity in protecting lives and property of citizens is seen in its failure to arrest the criminals, a statement issued by Augustine Akubeze, president, and Camillus Umoh, secretary, CBCN, on Wednesday, February 26, to mark the Ash Wednesday, which begins he 40-day Lenten period said.
The CBCN has also called on the international community to assist the Nigerian government to fight against Boko Haram insurgency and Fulani terrorists who want to ruin the country.
“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 repeated barbaric execution of Christians by the Boko Haram insurgents and the incessant cases of kidnapping for ransom linked to the same group and other terrorists have traumatised many citizens.
“That the perpetrators of these heinous crimes make public shows of them on social media and Nigerians, we do not hear of any arrest or prosecution of the criminals raise grave questions about the ability and willingness of the government to protect the lives of the ordinary Nigerians. To make matters worse, many communities are constantly threatened, harassed and sometimes even sacked by herdsmen, as they seek to take over more territories to graze their cattle forcefully.
“We equally appeal to the international community to come to the aid of the Nigerian government in the fight against these daredevil terrorists, who want to graze our country. The consequences, should they succeed, will be grave not only for the West African sub-region but also for Africa as a whole.
“As we begin the Holy Season, we, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, invite all Catholics in Nigeria as well as other Christians and persons of goodwill to unite in prayer and penance for peace and security in our country.
“This is not a time for compromises for the sake of personal convenience, but rather for heroism in Christian virtues. Remember the words of our Lord: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both the soul and body in Gehenna, (Matthew 10: 28),” the bishops said.
They appealed to 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 the Nigerian society.”
According to CBCN although Christians were in sorrow, they were “confident that the light of Christ, which shines in our hearts, will brighten the dark corners of our Nigerian society.”