By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has urged the federal government and Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, to take urgent steps to end the incessant killing of Nigerians.
In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja and jointly signed by its President, Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze, and Secretary, Most Rev. Camillus Umoh, the clergymen said their hearts were bleeding over the massacre presently going on in Southern Kaduna.
“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 government and the government of Kaduna State 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,” said CBCN.
The bishops added that the perpetrators of the killings must be brought to justice.
It added: “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.
“We, the members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria have been following the recent events in Nigeria closely. We continue to hear of insecurity and unabated acts of increasing terrorism in Northern Nigeria.
“We are all tired of this situation. We do not want any politician to politicise the killings of Nigerians. There should be one response from everyone, and that is: the killings must stop. There will never be sustained development built upon 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.”