Eziomume Solomon, Nnewi
Hundreds of Catholics in Anambra State on Sunday, shutdown Awka, the state capital in a march against what they called extreme insecurity, abductions and killings in Nigeria.
Led by the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, they condemned the “brutal killing of innocent Nigerians and the high level of insecurity in the country.” They also called for the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari-led government, security agencies and the international organisations to halt continued violence in the country.
The march, which started from the Alex Ekwueme Square, terminated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, along Arthur Eze Avenue. The protesters, who recited the Holy Rosary as they marched, also sang songs expressing their demand for a safer, saner society.
Bishop Ezeokafor said: “We are protesting against the brutal killing of innocent Nigerians by Boko Haram and terrorist herdsmen. We are gathered to mourn the women, children, babies and men, who have been killed by the terrorists. We are particularly worried about how the terrorists target, abduct and kill seminarians and priests.”
He lamented the poor response of the Federal Government to the attacks on defenceless people by Boko Haram; referring to it as “far below average.”
He added: “We are gathered to let the Federal Government of Nigeria know that we are tired of hearing from them that Boko Haram has been ‘technically defeated’ even when they still attack with impunity. The failure to protect innocent people from relentless attacks is evil. The lack of prosecution of terrorists is evil. The other day, we heard that the military had released hundreds of Boko Haram suspects. We also heard some time ago that FG is planning amnesty for Boko Haram suspects, who have ravaged Nigeria! The continued silence of the FG is breeding and sowing seeds of mistrust.