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Pope Francis urges Nigeria to guarantee safety of citizens amid insecurity

Pope Francis has urged Nigeria to guarantee the safety of all citizens in the country in the wake of deadly attacks in the north.

This handout picture taken and released by the Vatican Media on July 4, 2021 shows Pope Francis delivering the Sunday Angelus prayer from the window of his study overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. (Photo by Vatican Media / VATICAN MEDIA / AFP) /

Pope Francis has urged Nigeria to guarantee the safety of all citizens in the country in the wake of deadly attacks in the north.

The Pope prayed for those who had been killed and injured as a result of the insecurity, citing the attacks in Kaduna state over the weekend in which dozens of people died.

“I learned with sorrow of the news of the armed attacks last Sunday against the villages of Madamai and Abun, in northern Nigeria,” he said in his weekly general audience in the Vatican on Wednesday.

“I hope that the safety of every citizen might be guaranteed in the country,” he said.

Nigeria’s northern regions have been plagued by insecurity for years, including armed bandit attacks and kidnappings for ransom.

The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday asked Buhari to declare armed bandits as terrorists in the country.

The red chamber also asked the president to wage a total war against the criminals, including bombing all their locations, to annihilate and eliminate them, while also declaring all known leadership of the bandits wanted and track them wherever they are for arrest and prosecution.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, the lawmakers called for a declaration of total war against bandits and also directed relevant Federal Government agencies to give all necessary support to victims of the menace of banditry in Sokoto and other parts of the country.

He recalled that N800 billion was appropriated in the recently signed supplementary budget and hinted that the National Assembly might appropriate N1 trillion to security agencies in the 2022 budget.