The Papal Nuncio and representative of the Head of the Catholic Church in Nigeria, Archbishop Anthony Guido Filipazzi, has said the Federal Government has failed in its duties to protect Nigerians from violence in the country.
According to him, there is too much violence in the country that warrants the urgent attention of the government.
This is even as scores of persons, including civilians and at least seven security personnel, were killed on Tuesday by Boko Haram terrorists at Kukawa in Borno State.
Archbishop Anthony Guido Filipazzi, said the Federal Government is not doing enough to protect Nigerians from violence in the country.
He also said killings in the country were not peculiar only to Christians or the Catholic Church but also Muslims.
According to him, government must wake up to its responsibilities of protecting the sanctity of human lives.
Archbishop Filipazzi spoke at a media briefing jointly addressed by the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria and the Bishop of Osogbo Catholic Diocese, Bishop John Akin Oyejola during the Nuncio’s visit to celebrate the Diocese’s 25 anniversary at Our Lady and St. Kizito Pastoral Centre, Ede, in Osun State yesterday.
The Pope’s representative in Nigeria said though the Southern Kaduna killings majorly affect Christians, the Church would not close its eyes to the fact that Muslims too were being killed in other parts of the northern region of the country.
He said rather than creating antagonism between Christians and Muslims, government should focus on protecting its citizenry from the violence ravaging the country.
“The killing in Southern Kaduna is not peculiar to the state but the whole of northern region. Although Southern Kaduna is an area where Christians and Catholics are mostly affected, however, it is important to note that many Muslims are also being killed in other parts of the north, such as Maiduguri, Borno State, where Boko Haram bombed many mosques.
‘’We should not be particular that only Christians are killed, Muslims are also victims. The mission of the state is to protect lives and we have to stop the problem of antagonism between Christians and Muslims.
‘’The point is that there is too much violence in Nigeria and the law seems not being enforced to bring the people to respect the law, respect the life and properties of everybody,” he said.
Commenting on the prolonged lockdown of the Church due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Nuncio said it was wrong to have introduced measures regarding how people enter into the Church to serve God, when markets were not regulated and the street always crowded.
He said no study attributed the spread of the virus to the Church anywhere in the world.
“The authorities introduced different measures to regulate church activities while markets were not closed, transportation activities were left unchecked, the streets were crowded but unfortunately, the Church is highly regulated when there was no study throughout the world that it is responsible for the spread of the pandemic,” he said.
Speaking on the progress of the Church within the 25 years of its existence, Bishop Oyejola said the church had grown from a diocese of just 16 priests to over 70, while schools and hospitals within the diocese are on the increase.
He added: “During this pandemic lockdown, the diocese spent over N14 million to feed the poor. Schools and hospitals are growing in numbers. However, the Church is not rich for us but rich to serve the people.’