Catholic Bishops: Nigerians Celebrating Easter in Atmosphere of Uncertainty

Catholic Bishops: Nigerians Celebrating Easter in Atmosphere of Uncertainty

*Barau preaches unity, tolerance, perseverance 

*NSCDC Deploys 35,000 personnel

Michael Olugbode, Onyebuchi Ezigbo, Sunday Aborisade in Abuja

Catholic bishops in Nigeria, yesterday, lamented that a majority of Nigerians would be celebrating this year’s easterin an atmosphere beclouded by uncertainty, tension, and pessimism.

They, therefore, urged every Nigerian to remain hopeful of better days ahead, away from the present predicament.
Also, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Jibrin Barau, has rejoiced with Christians in the country as they  celebrate Easter, preaching unity, tolerance and perseverance

This was as no fewer than 35,000  personnel had been deployed by Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Ahmed Audi, to protect lives and property including critical national assets and infrastructure (CNAI) during the Easter celebration.
In their Easter message, the bishops said just as Christians shared a strong belief that Jesus Christ would rise after crucifixion to liberate them, God would not allow injustice, oppression and death to triumph for ever in the country.

The clergymen said in seeking to foster national unity and cohesion, all must choose the pathway to peace by shunning injustice, discrimination, bigotry and fanaticism, which cause discord, disaffection and disunity.
In the Easter message by Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, Archbishop of Owerri and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), the bishops lamented that Nigerians would be celebrating this year’s Easter in an atmosphere of uncertainty, tension, and pessimism.

Apart from the  economic difficulties that have made life almost unbearable with the price of basic commodities going beyond the reach of the poor and vulnerable, the bishops said insecurity and kidnapping had heightened across the country, especially in the Northern part of the country.
On his part, Barau, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ismail Mudashir, congratulated Christians for the successful completion of the Lenten season, a period of 40 days of fasting and prayer that culminated in the Easter celebration.

He enjoined Christians to imbibe the teachings of Jesus Christ and the lessons of Easter which emphasise peace, love, perseverance and forgiveness.
He also called on all Nigerians to reflect on the state of the nation and rededicate themselves in prayers and sacrifice even as he said the country’s challenges were surmountable if the people unite, love one another and pray for the country and its leadership to move the nation forward.

Meanwhile, Audi has directed zonal commanders and state commandants to ensure mass deployment of personnel across all the zonal, state commands and Federal Capital Territory as part of measures to ensure a hitch-free Easter celebration.
 The statement read that within the period of the celebration, the Corps was to protect CNAI as well as the security of lives and safety of property in line with its mandate whether private or public in synergy with other security agencies.

It said the CG has tasked operatives in the Anti-vandal Unit, Special Intelligence Squad (CG’s SIS), Transport and Mining Marshals,  Special Female Squad, Special Force, Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT), Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation (DII), Crack Squad and Rapid Response Squad (RRS) amongst others to ensure round the clock surveillance as contained in the Operational Order.

While the deployment was to yield the desired result of maximum security through overt and covert operations, the CG reiterated that oil installations, Railway tracks, power and telecommunications, schools as well as recreational facilities should be adequately protected through surveillance.

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