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…Says it won’t fold arms, watch killing in churches continue unabated

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) says it will not fold its arms and allow gunmen to continue the killing worshippers, describing the attack on St. Francis Xavier church, Owo Ondo state as an attack on humanity.

CSN’s National Director, Social Communications, Rev. Fr. Michael Umoh, stated this in an interview on Arise TV which was monitored by Vanguard in Abuja.

Umoh, who expressed deep sadness over the unprovoked attack, revealed that the church was working on a non-violent solution to the issue of attacks.

He accused the government of not putting serious measures in place to protect the people, adding that the people were not fully convinced of its sincerity on security matters.

His words, “The Catholic church is not taking this as a merely its own matter, because the global view is that humanity is under attack. It is very unfortunate that we have found ourselves in this situation in Nigeria.

“So, we speak for humanity and condemn in totality this kind of act to anyone anywhere in the world.

“Humanity deeply hurt and saddened by this type of thing. Not even in a war situation is it allowed because there are still some places referred to as sacred areas that if you can run to, you’re protected.

“But in this case, there is no war, no fight, no quarrel, and people will just take it upon themselves to take lives of unarmed women, children and worshippers is very sad. That is the real issue we should be discussing.

“Humanity in the face of this type of attack and situation will naturally be angry, but the Catholic church is not a militant group in any way. We have never spoken in favour of violence.

“However, the church is not folding its arms. We must do something about it. We are looking for a solution to the problem, but I can assure that the solution is not a violent way.”

He insisted that the government had a big role to play in curbing insecurity, stressing that the temptation to embrace self-help among the citizens is only heightened by the fact that people don’t seem to be feeling the impact of the authorities.

“There seems to be a template ready when incidences like this (Owo church attack) happen, a press release is quickly rolled out in the form of a ‘Somebody Mourns’ even though they may be busy eating and drinking.

“A lot depends on the government and that is why we keep appealing to government to remember the oath they took before the people. The protection of life is key.

“When there is trust in the government, people will not be tempted into going into self-help or believing the permutations and speculations of a religious war.

“Government should explain to the people what the situation truly is. If it is true, we will see and know and the people will understand where we are and where we are going to.”

The CSN spokesman warned that nobody could fight a war for the creator of all things, and said no religion should be given any room to kill for God.

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.