AFRICA/NIGERIA - Kidnappings and murders: Bishop of Abakaliki complains about lack of security

Tuesday, 6 September 2022 bishops   kidnappings   violence  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - We no longer believe that the current government has the capacity to restore security," said Bishop Peter Nworie Chukwu of Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi State in south-eastern Nigeria, to journalists in Abakaliki on the occasion of the founding of the Catholic Media Practitioners Association (CAMPAN).
Bishop Chukwu added that the main reason Nigerians are disappointed in the federal government is its inability to fight crime in the country. Referring to the numerous kidnappings and murders of which priests have also become victims, Bishop Chukwu said: "I am very concerned that priests have also become the target of kidnappers and murderers". "We have lost so many priests in the North, in the Middle Belt and also in the Southeast," he laments. "It's worrying, but I'm not surprised because priests and prophets have been victims of persecution throughout Church history. The persecutions show that what priests stand for and what we preach reaches the consciences of those who attack us, but instead of repenting, they choose to respond with murder, kidnapping, torture and the destruction of our churches."
"But I am comforted by Christ's statement in Matthew 16:35 that the powers of the underworld will not prevail over the churches. The church grows strong when attacked," Bishop Chukwu said.
The bishop called on journalists to report on the candidates' programs for the 2023 general election so that Nigerians can select credible leaders.
"We pray that the elections will be peaceful, free and impartial and that they will bring to power leaders capable of solving this country's problems which, if left unsolved, threaten the existence of Nigeria as a united country", concluded the bishop. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 6/9/2022)