Catholic Bishops of Abuja and JOS Ecclesiastical Province have expressed their sadness and great dismay at the recent upsurge of violence and conflicts in southern Taraba and the border settlements of Benue State.
The Bishops say they are saddened about the continuous disturbing trend leading to deaths, destruction of homes and means of livelihood in the affected region and among tribes that should be the best of neighbours. They add that “Christians also believe and uphold the sanctity of life from birth to natural death and are aware that the scripture and teachings of the Church are uncompromising about the sadness of life”.
The prelates , referencing St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians called or calm in the two states of Nigeria.
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. (Gal 3:28) saying that if the tribes of their regions Jukun, Tiv, Berom, Idoma etc are mostly Christians, these words of St. Paul are very significant” a statement sighted by Radio Angelus.
“With the same understanding, they said “we are saying that in Christ there is neither Tiv, Jukun nor native, indigene nor foreigner, neither visitor nor stranger. We are all one in Jesus Christ the Saviour of mankind. We are all created in the image and likeness of God. He gave us the land to inhabit and improve for our own benefit”.
They admonished the government to get to the root cause of these recurring conflicts which has caused great setback and obvious hardship in different form for their people”.
They added that as priests, clergy and religious, they are agents of reconciliation so they can not deny what ethnic group they belong to but by virtue of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, they belong to all. They appealed to all men and women of faith to speak out and take action in favour of peace as they quote St. Francis of Assisi “Lord make me an instrument of your peace”.