News

July 12, 2022

Rights group decries incessant abduction, killing of Catholic priests

By Luminous Jannamike

Abuja — DISTURBED by the rampant kidnapping and killing of Catholic priests in the country, the Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education, CHRICED, has asked  President Muhammadu Buhari to resign if he is incapable of addressing Nigeria’s security challenges. 

The Centre stated this in a statement titled, ‘CHRICED Condemns Rising Tide of Insecurity, Criminal Attacks On Catholic Priests’ signed by its Executive Director, Dr. Ibrahim Zikirullahi, in Abuja, yesterday. 

The statement reads, “One worrisome aspect of the country’s insecurity is the emerging pattern of religious leaders and clerics being targeted for attacks, kidnapping, or outright elimination.

“From the kidnapping of the Methodist Prelate in Abia to the recurring abduction of Catholic Church priests, the religious dimension of recent violence necessitates introspection and a clear shift in strategy from those tasked with protecting lives and property. 

“CHRICED is disturbed that spiritual leaders and clerics who should be revered, respected and honoured are being targeted and murdered by mindless criminals.”

“While the escalating problem of insecurity knows no sectarian victim, there is data to show that in recent attacks Catholic Priests have come out worse off when counting the human costs of the insecurity. 

“Given this government’s failure to take decisive action to halt the country’s rampant insecurity, we call on the National Assembly and the Federal Executive Council to uphold their oaths of office by taking drastic measures to save precious lives, our democracy and restore effective governance.

“We urge all well-meaning organizations in the country and around the world to speak out and put pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to end the current lack of a clear vortex of authority in dealing with insecurity in the country. 

“However, if President Buhari believes he is too weak or tired to take charge of protecting citizens’ lives and properties, as he was elected to do, the best option is for him to resign as President rather than subject the country to its current travails, where it is sliding towards the status of a failed state where impunity reigns and people are at the mercy of bandits and insurgents.”