By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU – FOLLOWING last Thursday’s gruesome killing of Rev Fr Paul Offu at Ihe in Awgu local government area of Enugu state, the Enugu Catholic Diocese has tasked government that it must flush out bad Fulanis from the state.
The church also tasked government as a matter of urgency, to effectively equip the vigilante groups, to provide protection and security for their various localities.
This is as the Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, in the south-east has denied that Fulani herdsmen were responsible for the killing of Rev Fr Offu.
Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev Dr Callistus Onaga gave the charge when the Diocese celebrated a special Mass for peace and security in Enugu state Nigeria, on Sunday, in honour of the murdered priest.
Bishop Onaga while celebrating the mass also prayed that “the legislative arm of our democratic dispensation enact laws that will flush out the bad eggs that perpetrate this socio-economic malaise in our mist.”
The church noted that following the increasing rate of insecurity in the form of killings, kidnappings, rapes, destruction of farmlands and properties, and various forms of intimidation ion the country, the church was compelled to make the public pronouncements.
It regretted that people were living in a state of anarchy, total breakdown of law and order with alarming number of people-including priests and government officials killed by murderers.
“Our people are now afraid to embark on normal farming activities; for the fear of being raped, our women can no longer carry out regular activities in the villages, particularly their farming and other businesses. All these catastrophic evils have hampered peaceful coexistence and development in our state.
“Against this background, we demand that government should as a matter of urgency, flush out bad fulanis from our state. Government should effectively equip the vigilante groups to provide protection and security for their various localities.
“The deployment of surveillance devices has become very necessary in our effort to combat these security threats. Government should formulate policies and enact laws that would checkmate these atrocities that are being meted on our people. Government should provide counselling and other services to victims of these bad Fulani people.”
The church also urged every family to pray one mystery of Rosary every day for the security of the diocese.
Chairman of MACBAN in the South East, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki on Saturday sent condolences to the Catholic Church, saying that the killing of Rev Fr Offu was condemnable and heartily regrettable.
The group called on government to rise to the occasion and provide adequate security for citizens of Nigeria across the length and breadth of the country.