AFRICA/NIGERIA - President of the Bishops' Conference: "The leaders of a country should guarantee the peace and security of their people"

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 violence   bishops   politics  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - New stance taken by the Bishops of Nigeria on the lack of security in different areas of the Federation.
"Every government that fails to protect the constitutional rights of her citizens has failed. The leaders of a country should ensure peace and security of his people", declared His Exc. Mgr. Augustine Akubeze, Archbishop of Benin City and President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), in his inaugural opening address of the Second CBCN Plenary Assembly in Abeokuta.
In his speech, Bishop Akubuze condemned the recent killings of some Catholic priests in Nigeria: Fr. David Tanko of the diocese of Jalingo, (see Fides, 30/8/2019) and Fr. Paul Offu of the Diocese of Enugu (see Fides, 5/8/2019).
The President of the Nigerian Bishops’ Conference recalled that "we Catholic priests and faithful must preach daily the message of peace and justice. It is part of the message of Christ. It is part of the mission of the church. As missionaries, we must be harbingers of justice and peace in our land". He also reiterated that "we are just interested in living our lives peacefully without any fear of being kidnapped for ransom or being driven from our home land". The kidnappings for the purpose of extortion have become quite common and among the victims there are several priests and religious (see Fides, 3/4/2019).
Mgr. Akubeze added, "If the leaders of a country cannot ensure peace and security, they have no business using tax payers’ money to provide security for themselves and their families while the rest of Nigerians are dying daily".
In June, Mgr. Akubeze denounced the "unprecedented level of insecurity" that has long afflicted Nigeria (see Fides, 6/6/2019). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 18/9/2019)