THE protest called by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) against unceasing killings of Christians and other Nigerians by herdsmen in the country witnessed a partial compliance by churches across Delta State.
Checks revealed that no protest of any kind took place in Sapele, Ughelli, Agbor, Oghara, parts of Warri and other major towns and cities in the Christian-dominated state.
At Sacred Heart, Mother of God Catholic Church at Okere junction, Warri-Sapele road, Warri, worshippers were seen milling out of the cathedral at about 8:30 a.m unperturbed and largely oblivious of the directive. This is in spite of being mostly affected as two Catholic priests and 17 members of a Catholic church were murdered in cold blood last week Tuesday, the reason CAN called got the protest.
A photographer, who worships in the church, when accosted, as the priests in charge could not be reached for comment, said he wasn’t aware of any protest billed to hold in the church. Although he acknowledged he heard about the directive, the photographer who declined his identity collected the church’s bulletin for the service and showed the announcements column to prove there was no plan for any protest by the church authorities as called by CAN.
Other churches, both Pentecostal to orthodox, visited in the twin town of Warri and Effurun yielded no result as they were all seen busy with their ritual Sunday worships. Meanwhile, the story was different in the state capital, Asaba, as members of Divine Way Baptist Church, trooped out to comply with the CAN directive.
Nigerian Tribune reports that the worshippers, after service, were armed with placards of bearing varying inscriptions, such as “Christianity is not a crime,” and “A wicked leader brings sorrow to his people.” Others were: “No one’s political interest is worth shedding of innocent blood”, ” No religion is superior to others”, “Government must stop Fulani herdsmen attacks”, “The killings must stop now” and “Enough is enough, no more herdsmen killings,” among others.
The protesters, who assembled in front of the church building along Okpanam Road on the peaceful demonstration against herdsmen attacks and killings, cause a temporary snarl in a free flow of traffic on a section of the dualised Okpanam Road. Notable CAN leaders in the state could not be sighted during the peaceful protest, while Baptist church obliged no comment. The Delta State CAN chairman, Gideon Oyibo, could not be reached for reactions.