Two Catholic Archbishops; Most Rev. Matthew Ndagoso of Kaduna and Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins of Lagos, have called for an end to the killing of innocent citizens and avoidable unrests in different parts of the country, especially in Kaduna and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja. The Archbishops made the appeals in different press statements, released recently in Kaduna and Lagos.
Expressing concern on the situation in Kaduna Metropolis and environs, Archbishop Ndagoso urged all the people of the state irrespective of their religion to reflect on the reality that violence only begets more violence; adding: “This suffering has gone on for too long and we beg that it be stopped for the common good”.
Appealing to both Muslims and Christians to avoid all deeds, actions and talks that inflame situations of violence, the Archbishop declared: “These deeds, including actions that involve physical violence but they also include words that inflame passions and foster mistrust, suspicion and hatred.” He added: “Rumour mongering can cause more deaths than the swords and AK 47. As members of one nation, people created in the divine image, we must seek ways of understanding, of building bridges to one another based on a solid foundation of truth.”
In his own statement, Archbishop Alfred Martins described both the Southern Kaduna crisis and the killing of Shiite members by military men in Abuja as a time bomb that could blow ill wind to the country if not curtailed on time. He therefore called on the Federal Government “to urgently address the lingering crises in Southern Kaduna which have led to the loss of several lives and also work to halt any further killing of Shiite Muslims in the country”
While condoling with the families of the people killed in the Kaduna crises, Archbishop Martins called on the Police, the Military and other law enforcement agencies in the state to work together and use all the resources at their disposal to get to the root cause of the fracas and bring the culprits to book.
On the confrontation between the military and the Shiite Muslims in Abuja, during which some of the protesters were killed, Archbishop Martins called for caution on both sides and called on the military high command to, as a matter of urgency re-evaluate its mode of addressing similar incidence to curtail human fatality.
He admonished the government to engage the leaders of the Shiite group in meaningful dialogue so as to resolve all issues bordering on the continuous detention of Ibrahim el-Zakyzaky; taking into consideration all subsisting court judgements on the matter. He concluded: “We must not allow this to linger than necessary to avoid a repeat of the mistakes that led to the proliferation of Boko Haram sect in the first instance.”