Catholic bishops allege persecution of Christians
• Urge credible solution to criminal activities
Catholic Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province, Ibadan have alleged the marginalisation of Christians across the country.This was contained in a communiqué by the President, Most Rev. Gabriel ‘Leke Abegunrin, and Secretary, Most Rev. John Oyejola, after their meeting.
The bishops said they had noticed some signs that Christians in the country were being persecuted. They said: “If we do not find a credible solution to the problems, Nigeria might face a most uncertain future.”The Ibadan Archdiocese comprises Ilorin, Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo and Osogbo dioceses.
The bishops challenged the Federal Government and other competent authorities to be more responsive to the numerous crimes and ills that have enveloped the country.They urged the Federal Government to proffer urgent and credible solutions to security challenges.According to the clerics, the time has come to firmly and sincerely protects religious freedom as the fundamental rights of every citizen in Nigeria.
They stressed that doing so would make it impossible for anyone to take other people’s rights away through acts of violence and destruction.The bishops cited: “The mindless attack and vandalisation of the St. John’s Catholic Cathedral, the Methodist Church and Christ Apostolic Church in Ilorin, by armed youths who chanted anti-Christian songs.
“If we do not find a credible solution to the problems of unemployment, human trafficking, terrorism, kidnapping, nepotism, religious bigotry and corruption, Nigeria might face a most uncertain future.”The communiqué titled: “Whither Nigeria!” urged the people to continue to work and pray to bring God’s kingdom of justice, peace and love.”
On Benue killings, the bishops condemned the ‘siddon look attitude,’of the Federal Government and charged it to tackle the menace of killer herdsmen.“The now-familiar attitude of the Federal government to such tragedies involving cow-herders, has made concerned Nigerians to question whether animal rights could indeed be placed above human lives,” the bishops warned.
According to the Catholic bishops: “Most people have expressed concern about who owns these “sacred cows” because of which farmlands and human lives could be so wantonly destroyed.”
“As we offer our deepest condolences to our bereaved compatriots in Benue State, we fervently pray for the repose of the souls of the dead and divine comfort for those left behind to mourn them.
They also warned against “the menace of fake news” in and outside the country, which, they said, had destroyed many homes and communities. “Ineffectual clichés like being “on top of the situation,” being on the trail of hoodlums, or attributing serious tragedies to “communal clashes,” simply will not do,” they warned.The body of bishops urged all institutions to promptly and effectively disseminate necessary information that could build up, rather than destroy the society.