Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - In a statement published on June 29 following the massacre of more than 200 Christian farmers committed on June 23 by Fulani Muslim pastors (as the Peuls in Nigeria are called) in some villages in the central state of Plateau, the Nigerian Bishops renew their request asking President Muhammadu Buhari to resign if he is unable to ensure the safety of all citizens "Once again we ask President Muhammadu Buhari to please save the country from further pain and avoidable chaos, anarchy and doom", said the statement sent to Agenzia Fides. "We repeat here what we said in our last statement: If the President cannot keep the country safe, then he automatically loses the trust of the citizens. He should no longer continue to preside over the killing fields and mass graveyard that our country has become". At the end of April, the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria published a harsh statement (see Fides 27/4/2018) with which he asked President Buhari to resign after the massacre of 24 April in the village of Mbalom (see Fides 25/4/2018), in which two priests, Fr. Joseph Gor and Fr. Felix Tyolaha, were killed, along with 15 parishioners.
The Bishops also repeat that "it can no longer be regarded as a mere coincidence that the suspected perpetrators of these heinous crimes are of the same religion as all those who control the security apparatus of our country, including the President himself. Words are no longer enough for the President and his service chiefs to convince the rest of the citizens that these killings are not part of a larger religious project".
Even Christian farmers carry out reprisals against the Fulani. The Bishops note that in this case the police quickly arrest the perpetrators. The same does not happen in prosecuting those guilty of the massacres of Christians.
According to Amnesty International, 1,813 people have been killed in 17 of the 36 states of Nigeria since the beginning of the year - more than double regarding the 894 deaths in 2017. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 4/7/2018)