Catholic pontiff, Pope Francis, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to find ways to stop the killings of Nigerians across the country.
Lamenting what he described as senseless killings of innocent Nigerians by suspected jihadists, the Pope called on the Federal Government to guarantee the safety of all citizens.
The Holy Father expressed prayerful solidarity with Nigerians over last weekend’s killing of over 40 people by armed religious militia in Southern Kaduna during his usual Wednesday General Audience at the Vatican City. He said it was not only in Southern Kaduna that people were being massacred, stressing that everywhere in the country, Nigerians were being killed.
“I learnt with pain the news of the armed attacks that took place last Sunday against the villages of Madamai Abun, in northern Nigeria. I pray for those who have died, for those who have been injured, and for the entire Nigerian population. I hope that the safety of all citizens in the country will always be guaranteed,” the Pope said.
He urged the Federal Government to provide adequate security for Nigerians in every part of the country.
Various parts of Nigeria, especially the North have experienced several years of violence, with herders and farmers competing for natural resources, while sporadic violence by gunmen often lead to endless reprisals between communities.
Sunday’s attack in Kaduna took place in the village of Madamai, in the Kaura district, where “unidentified gunmen” killed scores of people and injured others. A second attack was carried out by militants in an alleged retaliation in the village of Kacecere, where a further eight people were killed, six injured, and several houses destroyed.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria have appealed to Nigerians to respect human life, and strive for peace in a country based on justice and equity. They called on those in government to take sincere and positive steps to deliver the people from their tormentors.The bishops also appealed to Nigerians to pray against famine, killings and sufferings.
They stated this in a statement in Abuja by the National Director of Social Communications for the group, Fr. Mike Umoh.
The bishops added their voices to that of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, to appeal to those in government and those who have power, to desist from actions and policies that continue to plunge the nation into violence and crisis.
“It is sad that Nigerians are still literally dying every day through very barbaric and senseless killings. To all victims of the violence and killings in the land, we send prayers and condolences. We call on all men and women of goodwill, irrespective of their religious affiliation, to pray ceaselessly for our nation.”
The bishops dedicate Nigeria to the powerful intercession of the Blessed Mother Mary, the Queen of Nigeria.