Benue Killings Solemn Prayer: Catholics, Protestants, Muslims Holds Rally Against Incessant Killings

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By: Joy Odor/Kaduna

Catholic Churches across the Federation today with heavy heart mourned the two Catholic Priests Reverend Father Felix Tyolaha, Reverend Father Joseph Gor and eighteen lay faithful including children killed in Makurdi, Mbalom Diocese through solemn prayer rally and procession for peace and against the incessant killings in all parts of Nigeria as they are been laid to rest.

The rally with the theme: “Solemn Prayer Procession and Rally for Peace and against the Incessant Killings in All Parts of Nigeria” which kick-off from Saint Augustine’s Catholic Church, Mahuta witnessed over 10,000 crowd including Catholics, Protestants and Muslims.

Speaking shortly after the rally following a wake-up call from the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) to Catholcis across the country to hold the rally, the Vicar General Administration, Kaduna Archdiocese, Reverend Father Bulus Karis Lukas lamented that in the society, human life is under direct attack from abortion to herdsmen gruesome murder of innocent people while value of human life is being threatened by poverty, unemployment, lack of social amenities, corruption, and bad government policies.

Reverend Father Bulus Karis Lukas who represented the Archbishop of Kaduna, His Grace, Most Revered Dr. Matthew Man’oso Ndagoso was of the opinion that the social fabric is being torn apart by a culture of violence that leaves children dead on the streets and families afraid in their homes while our society seems to be growing numb to human loss and suffering.

Archbishop Ndagoso informed that the respect for human life is the starting point for confronting a culture of violence, nothing that we cannot ignore the moral and human costs of so much violence in our midst, stressing that the intentional targeting of civilians in war or terrorist attacks is always wrong as Catholic teaching also called on all and sundry to work to avoid war and must protect the right to life by finding increasingly effective ways to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful means.

“The rally was in solidarity as a result of continuous and incessant gruesome killings in the Country, and in solidarity with every family who has lost a dear one in these unfortunate circumstances, irrespective of creed, tribe, religion or political affiliation and for all men and women of goodwill to express our deepest displeasure with the current state of the nation and to pray to God for peace in the country and to appeal to whoever is responsible, to stop the killing in Nigeria.

“Who will deny the fact that our families are torn by violence? Our communities are destroyed by violence. Even our faith is tested by violence? We have an obligation to respond.

“Violence – in our homes, our schools and streets, our nation and world – is destroying the lives, dignity and hopes of millions of our sisters and brothers turning many into widows and orphans refugees in our land. Fear of violence is paralyzing and polarizing our communities.

“Beyond the violence in the land, is the violence in our hearts. Hostility, hatred, despair and indifference are at the heart of this growing culture of violence. Verbal violence in our families and communications contribute to this culture of violence” Archbishop Ndagoso stressed.

Archbishop Ndagoso urged government at all level to wake up to its responsibility of protecting the life of every Nigerian irrespective of creed, tribe or political affiliation.

According to him, the Government must guarantee safety of life and property of every Nigerian everywhere at all times, saying there is too much bloodshed in the land, Life is sacred and must be cherished and protected by all means.

“We are here as citizens of this great country to ask our government to wake up to its responsibility of protecting the life of EVERY NIGERIAN irrespective of creed, tribe or political affiliation.

“The Government must guarantee safety of life and property of every Nigerian everywhere at all times. There is too much bloodshed in our land, Life is sacred and must be cherished and protected by all means.

“Our social fabric is being torn apart by a culture of violence that leaves children dead on our streets and families afraid in our homes. Our society seems to be growing numb to human loss and suffering.

“We can turn away from violence; we can build communities of greater peace. It begins with a clear conviction: respect for life. Respect for life is not just a slogan or a program; it is a fundamental moral principle flowing from our teaching on the dignity of the human person.

“We must protect the right to life by finding increasingly effective ways to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful means.

“Every person is precious and people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person” He noted.

In his remark, the representative of Zazzau Emirate, Hakimi Barnawa Alhaji Kabiru Zubairu prayed that as we carry out the exercise during the Islamic fasting period, God will grant us peace in Kaduna, Nigeria and the world at large.

While representative of the Chairperson of Christian Association of Nigeria Chikun LGA and Arewa Peoples Unity Association, Bishop Simon Thomas continued to pray for unity of Nigeria as he requested for a thunderous exclamation of ‘PEACE.

And according to the representative of Sa Gbagyi, Mr. Lawrence Dogo identifies himself with the noble course and laud the effort of the CBCN.

He urged all to continue in prayer, while he attested to the fact that he has been praying the ‘Prayer for Nigeria in Distress’ and requested all to continue the prayer as well. He extended his sincere condolence on the Diocese of Makurdi and people of Benue State.

He wished all God’s blessings and protection.

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