Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Catholics in Imo Tuesday held a procession in major roads in the state to protest the killings of Nigerians, especially Christians, by suspected herdsmen in Benue and other parts of the country.
The Catholic priests were also joined by men, women, youths, and children drawn from the 27 local government areas of the state who marched along the major roads, carrying placards and banner with such inscriptions as ‘Catholic Priests are against violence and killing of priests’ and ‘President Buhari resign if…’
Archbishop of Owerri Anthony Obinna, addressing newsmen shortly after the procession, regretted that many families have lost members to the rampaging herdsmen saying, “we are having killings which doesn’t show that we have left the military era.”
According to him: “There have been intertribal marriages in Nigeria, and the people have lived in harmony until the rampaging herdsmen made cohabitation an issue.”
The cleric charged President Buhari to rise up to his responsibility of protection lives and property, saying: “We want President Buhari to disarm these violent herdsmen and criminals. We know he is doing something, but we need it to be more visible and impacting.”
He continued: “President Buhari should know that he should be a father to everyone and not some as perceived. His subtle and real statements should be to protect every Nigerian.”
Obinna further charged security agencies to ensure adequate security at all times. Do not harbour vipers as alleged by Gen T.Y. Danjuma. President Buhari and the security agencies should be on the same page”
The archdiocese had postponed the procession, originally scheduled to hold May 22 concurrently with other Catholic priests across the country.
Speaking on the 2019 elections, the Prelate urged citizens to vote for “the least criminal, least deadly and least arrogant” as their leaders in the forthcoming elections in the country.
According to him, the country cannot afford to slide back into dictatorship.
He decried what he called a “Severe Acute Rigging Syndrome (SARS)”, adding that there is “a bloody competition for power and money”, adding that unless it is separated from each other, the killings may be more rampant.
Archbishop Obinna noted that there is currently no alternative to money politics. and called on President Buhari to “look into it and make influence of money reduce, especially as he tackles corruption.”