Thousands of Catholics poured into the streets of Umuahia on Tuesday to protest against the wanton killings being carried out by Fulani herdsmen in some parts of the country, warning that â€œenough is enough.â€
The Catholic faithful drawn from parishes across Umuahia Diocese rose in solidarity with their counterparts in Makurdi Diocese of Benue State where two Catholic priests, Rev Fr Joseph Gor, Rev Fr Felix Tyolaha and 17 parishioners were on April 24, 2018 brutally murdered inside the church by Fulani herdsmen.
Clad in black attiref the protesting faithful, led by the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia Diocese, Most Rev Lucius Ugorji, evoked an eerie feeling of mass mourning as they marched in a procession through the major roads in the Abia capital singing and praying for quick end to the senseless killings in the land. They carried placards, some of which bore inscriptions: â€˜Stop these senseless killingsâ€™; â€˜God is the giver of lifeâ€™; â€™Government should rise up to its primary responsibility of protecting lives and propertiesâ€™.
The protest rally commenced at Mater Dei Cathedral and ended at St. Finbarrs Catholic Church along Bende Road with the speeches given by the Bishop Ugorji, representatives of the clergy, religious and church organisations in the diocese, who all denounced the killings and governmentâ€™s inaction.
Bishop Ugorji said the rally was meant to â€œvehemently protestâ€ the senseless killings of thousands of people in Nigeria by the Boko Haram sects, Fulani herdsmen terrorists and other unscrupulous groups or individuals.
â€œWe need to stress the sanctity and inviolability of human life. The life of every individual whether Christian or Muslim, whether believer or unbeliever, whether rich or poor, whether powerful or powerless, whether man or woman, whether young or old, whether born or unborn is sacred,â€ he declared.
Ugorji emphasised the need for all people of good conscience in Nigeria to speak out against the murderous activities of Fulani herdsmen and the apparent inability of the federal government and its security agencies to rein them in.
â€œWhenever the right to life is violated anywhere in the country, it is threatened everywhere in our nation. With the incessant shedding of blood by the Boko Haram adherents and the Fulani terrorists, the life of every Nigerian is threatened,â€ the Bishop said.