Published On: Tue, May 22nd, 2018

Catholics in nationwide protest against incessant killings

…Lagos Govt snubs protesters

FELIX OLOYEDE

Catholic protesters marching to Alausa-Ikeja, Lagos Picture: Daily Trust

Catholic adherents took to the streets across the country to protest the incessant killings taking place in different parts of Nigeria.

The nationwide protest coincided with the burial of two Catholic Priests and 17 parishioners, who were killed during a mass in Benue on April 24, 2018.

In Lagos, Catholics led by Archbishop Adewale Martins and accompanied by over 150 priests started the protest from St. Leo Catholic Church in Toyin Street, Ikeja and marched Allen Avenue to Lagos State Government Secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja, causing major gridlocks in most roads in the state capital.

Archbishop Martins noted that the protest was in compliance with Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria’s directive that all catholic faithful protest the endless killing of Christians across the country with the Federal Government doing little to end the ugly trend.

“We have witnessed unprecedented killing in the country that even two of our priests were killed. Apart from the priests that were killed, non-Christians- Muslims, traditional worshippers are also being killed,” said Cletus, one of the protesters from St. Mary Catholic Church, Isolo told Business Hallmark in Ikeja.

He added that they had to come out to tell the serving government enough is enough.

“If their relatives, children are being killed, they will come out and do something it. Now it is ours that have been killed to see the governor, but government representative came to meet us,” he said angrily.

The protesters waited at Lagos State Secretariat for almost two hours for a representative of the governor to attend to them. When no top government official attended to them, they had to drop their protest letter with one of state officials to transmit to the governor.

“This protest is to send a message that life is sacred and nobody has the right to take another person’s life in cold blood,” Anthony Aka told Business while returning from the protest.

Mrs Iro Okocha of St. Bernadette Catholic Church, Ipaja, Lagos stated that the protest was not just to show their grievances against the killing of Christians, but to also draw attention to the case of Leah Shuabu, who is still the custody of Boko Haram terrorists.

There were also protests in Abuja, Ibadan, Osogbo, and Aba among other states in solidarity with those killed by herdsmen at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Ukpor-Mbalom Parish, Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State on April 24, 2018.

Speaking at the burial of the two priests and 17 parishioners killed in Benue, the Cardinal of the Abuja Catholic Diocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, urged Nigerians to rise above religious, political and ethnic divides in order to rescue the country from plunging in chaos.

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