In Benue Catholic cleric urges security agencies to protect lives of Nigerians

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that gunmen on Tuesday invaded Saint Ignatius Catholic Church, Ayar-Mbalom in Gwer East Local Government area of Benue State, killing 15 worshippers and two Catholic priests.

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Msgr. Gabriel Osu, the Director of Social Communications in Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, on Wednesday urged security agencies to safeguard lives and properties of Nigerians, particularly those in the middle belt.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that gunmen on Tuesday invaded Saint Ignatius Catholic Church, Ayar-Mbalom in Gwer East Local Government area of Benue State, killing 15 worshippers and two Catholic priests.

The killed Catholic priests are Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha.

Osu, in a statement, said that the killings were not only abominable, but a slap on the entire Christendom and a calculated effort to instigate hatred and create fear in the hearts of Christians.

“Those sponsoring these atrocities are being emboldened daily by the inability of the government and the law enforcement agencies to do the needful.

“The inability of the authorities to take drastic actions against the perpetrators, the country is gradually drifting to a state of anarchy where anything goes.

“Let those in authority beware of a gathering storm. Things are not as they should be. You cannot expect people to fold their arms and watch all they hold sacred being wiped away.

“It is true that Christianity abhors violence, but when a people have been pushed to the wall, the only option left for them is to bounce back.

“They must be reassured that there is no need for them to resort to self-help in order to stay alive. No one has any right to take the lives of others for no just reason,” Osu said.

The cleric wondered why on earth would some people attack a group of worshipers in a church in an early morning and hacked them to death.

“What manner of insanity and sadism would make some people open fire on priests celebrating mass in the house of God? What is there offence? Of what use is their death to the perpetrators?

“This is the height of evil and human callousness that should be condemned in its entirety. This is not, and can never be acceptable in any sane society.

“We have lost touch with all that we once considered sacred and divine, for many, their consciences are no more active, they have been polluted and disfigured.

“We all know how Operation Python Dance was swiftly executed in the East, one wonders why the military cannot channel equal zeal to root out these callous killings?

“If they are foreigners, why not unleash all our military arsenals on them, coupled with swift intelligence gathering? Is it that the lives of Nigerians no longer matter?, ” he said.

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