Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
In compliance with the directive of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, the Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta, on Tuesday, embarked on a peaceful protest.
The protest was to condemn the killing of two priests and 17 parishioners in Benue State by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
Leading scores of Catholic faithful during the protest in Abeokuta, Bishop of Abeokuta Diocese, Olukayode Odetoyinbo, appealed to the Federal Government to be responsive and put a stop to the killings of Nigerians.
Odetoyinbo, who said some elements in the government might be behind the killings, noted that for peace to reign in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration must do everything within its power to stop the senseless killings.
“We may not know the reason behind the killing, but I and the church believe that some people know why and how the killings are going on. These are the people we are calling upon, especially our president and all the executive arms of the government to help stop the killing.
“Even our Holy Father has called on the international body to help Nigeria in this regard”. Odetoyinbo stated.
The Bishop, however, said the president should resign if his government cannot stop the wanton killings of Nigerians by suspected herdsmen.
He said, “We asked president to resign because he’s the father of the nation, when the father cannot protect home, what’s the responsibility of a father then?
“His duty is to protect we Nigerians, we entrust the lives of Nigeria in him, not only economy, not money but lives. But if a father cannot do that it is obvious that you are not able to keep promise as expected.
“We will continue praying as a catholic, we don’t give up hope, we know that with the help of God and ourselves, there will be peace in Nigeria.
“Protection of lives is so important in the country, we must protect lives, it is fundamental right, it is a right that cannot be taken from anyone or by anyone.
“We call on the president and everyone to protect lives, respect lives and ward away from any factor or any reasons that can take another person’s live, either in thought, in words or in action by herdsmen.
“It doesn’t matter if it is a Muslim or a Christian, human life is important and we must have cause to protect it, keep it, preserve it and pass it on. That is my call and also all the call of bishops in Nigeria.”