• Baptist Church in Delta gives FG 4 weeks ultimatum
Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja; Ben Dunno
The Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has revealed how Pope Francis is deeply concerned about herdsmen’s killings in Benue State and other parts of the country.
Onaiyekan, who spoke with Daily Sun from the Vatican, said even though the Pope will not speak in the media as they (bishops) do, the Pope will respond through diplomatic channel.
The Pope is the head of state of the Vatican and equally doubles as the successor of Saint Peter (Head of the Catholic Church).
Onaiyekan’s interview is sequel to the Ad Limina visit of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) to Rome, where all Catholic bishops of Nigeria gave account of events within their dioceses.
Bishops Wilfred Anagbe (Makurdi Diocese); Peter Adoboh (Katsina-Ala); William Avenya (Gboko) and Michael Apochi (Otukpo), all from Benue, spoke about developments in the state.
Onaiyekan said the Pope is saddened and he specifically asked who the Bishop of Makurdi is, and, upon meeting him, held the Bishop, who, in turn, wept profusely.
“The Pope is so concerned about what is happening, not only about the Benue killings, but about the situation that has been going on in Nigeria for many months now, even here. He showed deep concern.
“The Pope will not speak as frankly as we did because this is our country. We can speak like we want; we can speak like we think we ought to speak; as leaders of our Church,” Onaiyekan said.
Onaiyekan further added the Pope is very well aware of what is going on in the country.
He also said there are many ways out of the present situation, even as he said everyone has a role to play.
“The politicians can continue to pretend that everything is normal. But they know it isn’t. The rest of us cannot allow them to deceive us and defend themselves. You can already see that things are not going well and we have elections in a few months. So, it is possible that you are going for an election, but you are not going to get a good election and that means we will be postponing the solutions to our problems.”
Onaiyekan, however, said he is confident that the situation is not hopeless, saying that Nigerians are good people who are ready to do all they can to make the country work.
Meanwhile, the First Baptist Church in Warri, Delta State, has issued a 30-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, to address killing of Christians in Benue and other parts of the North East or Christians would henceforth defend themselves.
The church handed down the one month ultimatum during a peaceful protest held in Warri, yesterday, in honour of those killed recently.
Pastor in Charge of the Church, Rev. Justin Okoroji Jnr., who led the protest, stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has failed the Nigerian people.
“We are giving the government a mandate from now, to democracy day of May 29; if they fail to provide us with security,we will secure ourselves. If they fail to provide us with security, we have no option than to protect ourselves. Thus far, government has failed.
“All over Nigeria, there’s river of blood flowing. People are slaughtered like rats. Cows are more valuable than human lives. Is this a kingdom of cows or a kingdom of humans? This is Nigeria. Our president, I want to be bold to address him. Let him listen. I hear people blaming the service chiefs. They say service chiefs should resign. I feel differently…”