International News

Nigerian Bishops Want President to Resign If He Can’t Stop Violence

LAGOS, Nigeria (CNS) – Nigeria’s bishops condemned repeated killings of innocent Nigerians by suspected ethnic militias in northeastern Nigeria and said President Muhammadu Buhari should resign if he could not keep the country safe.

Asking, “when will this barbarism end?” the bishops condemned the murder of two priests and their parishioners during the celebration of Mass, at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Ayer Mbalom, April 24.

Attackers also burned about 50 houses, nearly destroying the small community.

It was the latest in a string of violent incidents involving nomadic herdsmen and farmers, violence linked to grazing rights and dwindling fertile land. Benue state, where the incident occurred, has seen nearly 50 such attacks in the last three years.

The bishops issued their statement from Rome, where they were making a regularly scheduled visit to the Vatican, and said they received news of the “gruesome, grisly and dastardly murder” with “deep shock, sorrow and utter horror.”

“These innocent souls met their untimely death in the hands of a wicked and inhuman gang of the rampaging and murderous terrorists, who have turned the vast lands of the middle belt and other parts of Nigeria into a massive graveyard,” the bishops said.

They said the unrestrained mayhem had become a metaphor for the untimely deaths that had now become the fate of many of Nigerian citizens.

“That our two priests, Father Joseph Gor and Father Felix Tyolaha, along with their parishioners were waylaid in the course of the celebration of the holy Mass early in the morning suggests very clearly that their murder was carefully planned,” the bishops said.

Related: Trump Pleas for Safety of Christians in Nigeria

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