Zakaa Lazarus, Abuja.
The Benue Journalists’ Forum, Nigeria (BJFN) has expressed shock at the recent attacks by suspected armed herdsmen and bandits on Catholic Priests and other innocent Nigerians.
In a statement signed by the National President of BJFN, Chief Joseph Saater Undu, the group condemned the attacks in strong terms, calling on the Federal Government to initiate measures to arrest the situation.
“We condemn in strong terms the renewed killings of Nigerians, especially the Catholic priests across the country.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to discharge his responsibility of ensuring the safety of lives and properties of Nigerians,” said BJFN.
The group recalled that, two (2) priests were killed in Nigeria in separate attacks; one was Fr. Vitus Borogo, an indigene of Benue state and a priest serving in the Archdiocese of Kaduna, who was killed on June 25 at Prison Farm, Kujama, along Kaduna-Kachia Road after a raid on the farm by terrorists.
Another attack happened in Edo State, where one Fr. Christopher Odia was kidnapped from his rectory at St. Michael Catholic Church, Ikabigbo, Uzairue, around 6:30 am June 26.
Sources have revealed that a Mass Server and a local Vigilante who followed the abductors were also shot and killed during Fr. Odia’s kidnapp.
It added that only last month, gunmen attacked a Catholic Church and a Baptist Church in Kaduna state, killing three people and reportedly kidnapped more than 30 worshippers, while more than 40 Christians were killed in an attack on a Catholic church in Ondo state on June 5.
While commiserating with the families of the deceased, the Forum urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and be prepared at all times to defend themselves against unprovoked aggression by these attackers.
The Forum also commiserated with the Pope, Catholic faithfuls, and all Nigerians on the lives taken by these attacks.
“We call on the Federal Government to quickly halt the further influx of aliens into the country, including deploying additional security personnel to fight these bandits who are committed to destruction of innocent lives and properties worth millions of naira.