Killings: Catholics Protest Nationwide As Murdered Priests Are Buried

Catholic Church members in Edo State on Tuesday, May 22 join other members across the country in peaceful protest against killings in some part of the country.

 

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.

Catholic Church members in Edo State on Tuesday, May 22 join other members across the country in peaceful protest against killings in some part of the country.

 

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.

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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.

Catholic Church members in Osun State on Tuesday, May 22 join other members across the country in peaceful protest against killings in some part of the country.

 

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.

Northern Governors Sign Pact With Catholic Mission To Revive Education

The Northern Governors Forum has signed a pact with the Catholic Mission for the revival of education in northern Nigeria.

The Chairman of Northern Governors Forum, Governor Kashim Shetima of Borno State described the agreement as a major step towards ridding the region of poverty and illiteracy.

According to him, the North has an unacceptable statistics of out-of-school children, as a result of the high poverty rate in the region.

The United Nations Children’s Education Fund, UNICEF, statistics show that there are over 14 million out-of-school children in northern Nigeria alone.

The situation is further worsened by the Boko Haram insurgency, which unleashed terror on school children, especially in North-Eastern Nigeria.

At the signing of the education revival agreement with the northern governors in Abuja, the representative of the Catholic Mission said the project would also help the government to win the war terrorism in the northeast.

“Proper education of the children and the youth is of utmost importance for the world and especially in this region. We can’t beat Boko Haram with arms but we know that it would be fully defeated when the children of northern Nigeria have proper access to education,” said Prof. Jan de colder, the representative for EU and Nigeria, Sant’Egidio.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum said the agreement would address poverty which he said characterises the region.

He said, “The Northern governors are particularly touched with this intervention because we believe most of the problems of the North are as a result of low literacy rate and high poverty levels. Of course, the low literacy rate is responsible for the high poverty levels and what we need is to make our educational institutions functional, qualitative and accessible.”

On his part, the Bishop of Sokoto State, Reverend Matthew Kukah appealed to governors from the northern region to ensure the pact signed is implemented.

Reverend Kukah said, “A lot of the heavy lifting will have to be done by the Governors Forum. The Nigerian Governors Forum will have to take this burden off us to make sure that this project sails very smoothly.”

The education revival agreement is targeting the equipment of schools in the north with e-learning facilities that will help pupils connect and share ideas with their mates from other parts of the world.

Anambra Primary Schools Get 5 Billion Naira For Facility Upgrade

The Anambra State Government has released another 5billion Naira for continued rehabilitation of both public and mission schools in the state.

This comes one week after the presentation of 5billion Naira Conditional Grant Scheme for accelerated execution of projects in various Local Government Areas of the state, towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

In a ceremony at the Women Development Center, Awka, the State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, who presented the cheque alongside the Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission, Dr. Suleman Dikko, announced that his administration though gradually coming to an end, would ensure total transformation of the education sector in the state.

When in 2011, Anambra State Governor handed over schools previously owned by missions back to them; he resolved to provide continued financial resources to assist in the renovation and reconstruction of the dilapidated buildings in those schools.

According to the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Uju Okeke, the Governor further embarked on procurement of school buses, laptops and instructional materials, and presently, over 250,000 laptops and over 400 buses have been distributed to schools. All those the commissioner said were geared towards producing high quality brains and better leaders of tomorrow.

While the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr. Suleman Dikko, maintained that the educational policy of Anambra State was one to be copied because of its direct impact, the Country Director of United Nations International Children’s Education Fund, UNICEF, Charles Nzuki, urged all to invest in education.

While over 1.6billion Naira went to the Catholic mission primary schools, over 1.1billion Naira went to the Anglican; another 2.3billion Naira went to the public schools, the State Governor, before the disbursement of the cheques, said that he was not yet done with the educational transformation of the state.

UNICEF has selected Anambra State out of the states in the South East of Nigeria for Private Public Partnership, PPP, which will be launched in March 2014.