The Catholic Bishop of Minna Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Martin Uzoukwu has called on President Muhammad Buhari to either end killings in parts of the country or step aside.
Speaking during a peaceful protest against the killings of some Catholic priests and innocent Nigerians, on Tuesday in Minna, he said the killings are no longer acceptable.
The Bishop who addressed protesters who thronged the Cathedral with placards bearing various inscriptions like “Stop the killings, ‘Stop shedding innocent blood’ ‘We are one in Nigeria’, ‘Enough is enough,’ amongst others, said the people are angry, and are becoming increasingly vulnerable to attacks.
He said the Christians in Nigeria feel violated and betrayed, adding that “since the president has refused to overhaul his security apparatus or call the security agencies to order, we are left with no option than to say they are acting a script”.
The cleric further stated that, if the killings are not stopped with immediate effect, the Christians leaders will not hesitate to tell our followers to result to self-help by defending themselves against the aggressors.
“We, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, have observed with dismay the wanton killings of innocent Nigerians especially Christians in parts of the country as a result of the failure of the government to rise up to their responsibilities.
“It is clear to us that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed in the protection of Nigerians. It is time for him to take the path of honour by stepping aside for someone else so as to save the nation from falling apart” he noted.
He said the gruesome murder of two Catholic priests along with 15 of their parishioners in the early hours of the morning of Tuesday 24th April, 2018 was received with deep shock and utter horror.
“These innocent souls met their untimely death in the hands of a wicked and inhuman gang of the rampaging and murderous terrorists who have turned the vast land of the Middle Belt and other parts of Nigeria into a massive graveyard.
“We thereby call on Nigerians to secure and protect themselves and their environment. And this is not the time for the government to stop people from defending themselves; if the people who are paid to protect the citizens have been compromised, then our security cannot be guaranteed”, he lamented.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Niger state chapter, Revd. Mathias Echioda commended the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) for the peaceful protest, adding that “it was not for Christians only but against the shedding of innocent lives in the country.