By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—BARRING any unforseen circumstances, the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri will, in full compliance with the directives of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, hold prayer and protest today.
Confirming this to Vanguard yesterday, Archbishop Anthony J. V. Obinna, explained that “the exercise is in supplication to God for the many killings of innocent people in Benue, particularly the brutal murder of two Catholic priests and laity during a Holy Mass.” Continuing, Archbishop Obinna explained that the protest would be against the palpable insecurity, violence and bloodshed in Benue State, Imo State and other states in Nigeria.
Obinna was visibly disturbed that “scores of people have been killed in Benue, Enugu, Taraba, Adamawa and Kaduna States by killer-herdsmen.” The cleric recalled with grief that the gruesome murder of the two priests and 17 parishioners, has since been followed by further heartless killings.
“Unfortunately, since 1945, this nation has known periodic blood letting, climaxing in the coups of January and July 1966, which led to a massive pogrom and the civil war atrocities,” he noted. Archbishop Obinna not only lamented over what he termed “the growing disunity and division in Nigeria,” but also accused the political class, military, religious leaders and traditional rulers in the country, who he said “have failed to be nationally inclusive in their care and concern for the nation.”