Nigerian Bishops Say Government Has Failed to Protect Its People

LONDON (CNS) – The leader of the Catholic Church in Nigeria has criticized his government for allegedly failing to protect Christians in the north of his country from attack by Islamist terrorists.
Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, said he could not understand why the government appeared powerless to prevent the killings of Christians.
Speaking April 30, a day after 21 people were killed and 20 others injured in coordinated attacks on Sunday services at a university campus in Kano and a Protestant chapel in Maiduguri, the archbishop said the incidents showed “that government security is not working.
“The government is not able to cope with the security situation, and we feel quite apprehensive as a result,” he told the British section of Aid to the Church in Need, a pontifical foundation that helps persecuted Christians.
“Why the government cannot identify the people involved baffles the imagination,” said the archbishop. “We pay tax money and we have a right to know what is being done about the problem.
“Those young people killed at the university represented the hope of our country. It defies all logic. They were people trying to build a better country,” he added.
His sentiments were echoed by Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja.
“At first we were ready to be patient with the government when it was saying that this kind of Islamic terrorism is new,” he told Aid to the Church in Need.
“They have had adequate time to learn how to deal with this situation, gathering intelligence about those directly involved and bring them to book,” he said.