Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Despite a heavy downpour witnessed in Nsukka, on Tuesday, over 10,000 Catholic faithful of Nsukka Diocese marched round the town in protest against the killing of two Catholic Priests and 17 others in Mbalom, Benue State, last month.
The protesters, while calling on the Federal Government to stop the incessant killing of Christians and farmers by suspected herdsmen across the country, sang heartrending songs and displayed placards which read: ‘Life is sacred’; ‘Our Leaders Save Us’; ‘Christians Lives Matter’; ‘Enough is Enough’; ‘Leaders Sit-up or Resign’, among others.
Vicar General of the Diocese, Reverend Father Greg Nnamani, who led the protesters on behalf of the Bishop of the Diocese, Bishop Godfrey Onah, demanded that government should stand up to the security challenges ravaging the country so that the masses will not be forced to take up arms to defend themselves.
Said he, “We want to use this opportunity to remind the government of their duty to the people. We have been left as if there is nobody to protect us and we are not even given the opportunity to protect ourselves.
“We are here to remind them that they were elected to guarantee the protection of the people and if they are not able to do that, conscience demands that they tell us so that Nigerians can do otherwise,” he said.
Addressing the protesters at the headquarters of Nsukka Local Government, the Chairman of the council, Hon Patrick Omeje stated that, “It is most unfortunate that we have found ourselves in a situation where the sanctity of human life is no longer tenable.
“We are indeed in a perilous period in which the life and survival of cows is valued more than that of Nigerians. Most sadly, the battlefield is longer in the farmlands, but in the sanctuary of God. I admonish the church to be more proactive in matters of security especially in worship centres.
As a responsive government, we have kept faith by ensuring that Nsukka remained calm and peaceful. Our security agencies are regularly mobilised to do the needful at all times. Be rest assured that we will dutifully relay the message presented to us here to higher authorities for prompt action,” he said.