The Catholic Mission in Nigeria on Tuesday held a nationwide prayer and peaceful protest against incessant killings and attacks parts of the country.
The protest coincided with the burial of the two priests and 17 worshippers who were killed by suspected herdsmen at a Catholic church in Benue State on April 24.
The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins, in a telephone interview with Channels Television on Tuesday said the protest is in line with the directive from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria.
The Archbishop said members are urged to partake in the exercise in supplication to God.
He added that the protest is also in solidarity with those killed in Benue.
Catholics in Edo, Oyo, Benue, Lagos, Kaduna, Adamawa, Kwara states and other parts of the country on Tuesday occupied the streets marching peacefully.
They also carry various placards with inscriptions.
The peaceful protest coincides with the burial of the 17 church members and the two priests killed during a mass in Benue State.
Catholic in Edo State started their peaceful protest from the St. Paul’s Catholic Cathedral Airport Road Benin, the state capital and marched to the Holy Cross Cathedral Mission road.
In Osun State, members marched from our Lady of Fatima Catholic Hospital, Jaleyemi, Osogbo to the Osun state capital to the House of Assembly to register their displeasure over the killings.
The Vicar General, Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Very Reverend Father Thaddeus Olaolu Ajayi told journalists that Nigerians need to embrace peace and love rather than engage in killings.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to do all in his capacity to ensure that the lives of Nigerians are safe just as he called on perpetrators of evil to desist from it and not incur the wrath of God.
Catholics in Niger State converged on Tuesday morning at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Minna, the state capital.
Reverend Father Gabriel Nelson Onuh in his sermon expressed concern over insecurity, kidnapping, activities of armed bandits and Boko Haram insurgency.
He said Nigerians live in culpable fear and apprehension in addition to the current economic hardship in the country.
Father Onuh also lamented the rate of school dropout across the country noting that this poses a great challenge to Nigeria’s security.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Niger State Chapter also joined Catholics in solidarity.
The Chairman of the Niger State chapter of the CAN, Reverend Matthias Echioda emphasised the need for national cohesion in Nigeria by advancing the ideals of unity.