AFRICA/NIGERIA - The Bishops: "Since the end of Nigeria’s tragic civil war our citizenship has been subjected to more strain"

Tuesday, 14 March 2017 bishops   violence

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "Since the end of Nigeria’s tragic civil war (1967-1970), at no other time in the history of our dear country has the issue of our common citizenship been subjected to more strain", say the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria in the declaration "Our dignity, our nation, our citizenship", in which they express strong concern.
"We have witnessed the ubiquity and the rising profiles of ethnic militias and their increasing destructive violence against our commonwealth. We have witnessed a rise in the politics of identity with our people retreating to the womb of ethnicity", says the document, sent to Agenzia Fides.
"We have found the outright disdain for the sanctity of human life, say the Bishops, citing the violence of Boko Haram, the killing of hundreds of Shiites in Zaria in December 2015, the killings in Southern Kaduna and the encounters involving herders and farmers, which led to thousands of killings.
While commending the Government for its commitment in the fight against Boko Haram, the Bishops say "that we have no reason to believe that they are not regrouping, nor can we discount their evolution into perhaps something more deadly, as we have continued to witness their savage, gruesome and grisly slaughter of innocent citizens".
The Bishops recommend to strengthen the credibility of the institutions, the educational system, to adopt policies to reduce socio-economic injustices and to respect the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, starting with religious freedom. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 14/03/2017)