THOUSANDS of Catholics of the Archdiocese of Ibadan led by its Archbishop, Most Reverend Gabriel Abegunrin, on Tuesday, took part in a protest march to register their displeasure over incessant killings in the country.
The march from SS Peter and Paul Seminary, Bodija to Government Secretariat, Ibadan, saw the Catholics disseminate their messages using placards that had inscriptions like, “Catholics say Enough of Innocent killings”, “Christians are citizens too”, “Killer herdsmen are terrorists”, “Stop the shedding of innocent blood”, “Nigeria deserves a better governance”.
Abegunrin said the violence that greeted the recent congresses of political parties, was a precursor to doom in the 2019 elections except the security agencies lived up to their statutory duties.
He, however, warned that the goodwill originally enjoyed by the Buhari government was fast being depleted by its glaring failures.
While assuring that the church was unceasing in praying for peace in the country, he urged the Buhari administration to work for justice and peace in the country.
Speaking further on the essence of the protest, Abegunrin expressed dissatisfaction at the way the government handled the killings as pointing to complicity between the killers and security agencies.
He said the inefficiency of security agencies was typified by their failure to arrest those behind the murder of two priests and 17 parishioners in Benue about a month after the incident occurred.
Consequently, Abegunrin called for a rejig of the nation’s security apparatus noting.
Furthermore, the church’s leader reiterated its call on President Buhari to live up to his primary responsibility of protecting lives or step aside so as to save the nation from total collapse.
Addressing the Catholics at government Secretariat, Ibadan, Chief of Staff to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Dr Gbade Ojo termed the intermittent killings as evidence of the failure of intelligence and national integration.
While assuring of onward transmission of the church’s letter to Buhari, Ojo said it was high time security agencies brought to book those behind the killings.
Ojo said making such arrests will erase those notions of connivance between security agencies and the killers.
Ojo, who spoke on behalf of Ajimobi, also bemoaned the failure of the nation to experience rapid development because of Nigerians lack tolerance for one another.
Especially, he said Nigerians must continue to intercede and pray for the nation’s leaders to lead the nation aright, and in particular, implement holistic measures to end killings in various parts of the country.
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