Nigeria: Catholic Bishops Decry Govt's Failure to Deal With Terrorists

27 February 2020

Nsukka — The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, yesterday, bemoaned the non-challant disposition of President Muhammadu Buhari to arrest and prosecute terrorists killing Christians and ordinary Nigerians.

The bishops said the boldness of the terrorists, who make public shows of their crimes, mostly against Christians on social media was condemnable and demanded that the President prosecute the culprits to serve as deterrent to others.

While giving the message signed by the President of CBCN, Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akabueze, and the Secretary, Calistus Omeogo, during the Ash Wednesday holy mass at the St. Theresa's Cathedral, Nsukka, the Bishop of Nsukka Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Prof. Godfrey Igwuebuike Onah, said the inability of the President to bring the terrorists to justice raised questions about his willingness to safeguard lives and property of ordinary Nigerians.

The bishop said many communities were constantly threatened, harrassed and even sacked by herdsmen as they seek to take over more territories to graze their cattles forcibly.

The bishop, while reacting to the message signed by CBCN charged all arms of the governments to take issue of security seriously, adding that there would be no development in the atmosphere of chaos and lawlessness.

The cleric said the President should as a matter of urgency, put a stop to the unprecedented wave of violence and brutality aimed particularly at Christians.

He added that the activities of the insurgents have sown dangerous seeds of hatred among different segements of Nigerian society.

The bishop said: "As a mark of mourning for our brothers and sisters who are victims of the violence against Christians, we are all dressed in black and offer our prayers and penance for their repose."

While speaking on the significance of Ash Wednesday, he said: "Today, (yesterday), we shall be marked with ashes and the sign of the cross. That is the beauty of our faith and the paradox of our life. The ashes will remind us of our sinfulness and brokenness, while the cross will remind us of the triumph that Christ has brought over our sins and weaknesses."

He explained that the ash which was got from Palm Sunday would be administered on the faces of the faithful to demonstrate that they have betrayed the Christ whom they praised and sang Hossana for on the Palm Sunday.

He added that the Ash has brought the Christians face-to-face with their sins before Christ.

The bishop also said that the Ash is a reminder, not only to the Federal Government that it has failed to secure lives and property in Nigeria, but also to Christians who he said have also failed to be the light of the world and bring virtuous lifestyles to the society.

He also explained that from the ashes which the faithful would return to upon death, they would rise to the glory of Christ.

"Just as God raised Christ from the dead, so shall all those united with Christ be raised on the last day," the cleric said.

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