THE Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prioritise the security and welfare of the country’s citizens.
Martins gave the advice on Tuesday during his sermon at the Requiem Mass for the slain priests and lay faithful in Mbalon, Benue State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that two Catholic priests, Rev. Fathers Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha, and 17 worshippers were killed when assailants invaded St. Ignatius Quasi Parish, Ukpor-Mbalom in Ayar-Mbalom community of Gwer East LGA on Tuesday, April 24.
The Archbishop urged the President to direct security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of callous killings
“People today feel a sense of helplessness and hopelessness in their homes especially when signals they are getting is that they do not have enough personnel to secure every inch of this nation.
“We ought to have intelligence agencies that will act to prevent attacks and to nip the attack in the bud.
“This is the least we can expect from our government, so that people can feel safe in every part of the country without the presence of gunmen.
“The president should act fast and try to restore the confidence of the people; he is the authority and father of the nation.
“We urge the president to intervene in this problem in a more divisive way in order to save the country the country from tribal or religious war, we say all of these with due sense of patriotism for our nation Nigeria, because we believe in the strength and unity of Nigeria,” he said.
Martins urged the people of Benue to take solace in the fact that the slain priests and faithful are resting in the bosom of God.
“At about this time that we are about to celebrate Mass, the bishop, priests and lay faithful of Markudi Diocese are also gathered together.
“I believe that the representative of Pope Francis I is also with them in order to celebrate the mass for the repose of the souls of two priest one Catchiest and 17 other lay faithful who were murdered in cold blood by killer herdsmen.
“They are far away, but we are united in hope, in heart, in intension, we are far together by the sadness and pain that we feel for the death of these innocent Nigerians who have done nothing else but to gather together to worship their God.
“We are even more saddened by the fact that many times before the 24 of April when they were killed; there have been many instances of similar murder of people in their farms as they went about their day to day lives.
“Many women have been raped on their farms; farmland and villages have been burnt. In January we all watched with dismay as the news that over 70 people- men, women and children have been murdered in Benue state.
“We witnessed their mass burial with deep shock.
According to him, since the murder of the Mbalon 19, there have been more murders and destruction in many villages in Benue, Kaduna, Ondo, Nasarawa, Zamfara, and other states as well.
“Our sorrows have been compounded by the fact that no one has been held responsible, no one convicted for the murder and destruction that has turned responsible people into internally displaced person,” the Archbishop said. (NAN)
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (local news)