Failure to end the killings may ‘snowball into ethnic, tribal or religious war,’ says Catholic Archbishop Alfred Martins of Lagos
La Croix International reported on 28 May 2018 that suspected Muslim herdsmen attacked two Catholic priests, beating one and shooting another, during an attack on a minor seminary in the Nigerian city of Jalingo. This follows our report on April 28th, in which we brought the sad and disturbing news of the murder of two Nigerian priests and 16 parishioners, by suspected Fulani gunmen. You may read that report here.
In the most recent attack, some students were also injured, the Nigerian Daily Post reported.
Father Evaristus Bassey, the director of Caritas Nigeria, confirmed the attack in a WhatsApp message: “Please Frs, pray for us. Our minor seminary in Jalingo has just been attacked by the Fulani, some students are injured, some cars destroyed, two priests beaten and one shot on the leg. They are currently receiving treatment at FMC,” the message reported.
Nigeria in recent years has been wracked by violence arising from ethnic and religious tensions between indigenous farming communities, who are mostly Christian, and nomadic Fulani cattle herders, who are Muslim.
On May 22 Catholics across Nigeria protested, calling for an end to the violence as two Catholic priests and 17 Mass goers were buried.
Suspected herdsmen on April 24 attacked St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Ukpor-mbalom parish, killing the two priests and Massgoers.
Gunmen on May 7 attacked the church-run Veritas University in Nigeria and abducted a Catholic priest who is also a lecturer at the Catholic institution.
Several hundred Christians have been killed this year alone, including two attacks in April that yielded respective death tolls of 19 and 39.
Frustration is mounting over the apparent unwillingness or President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene or to direct the security forces to end the attacks. Frustration is further compounded by the fact that Buhari shares a common ethnic background to some of the tribesmen.
Earlier, Catholic Archbishop Alfred Martins of Lagos urged Buhari to end the killings. Failure to end the killings may “snowball into ethnic, tribal or religious war,” he said.
The archbishop said the federal government was not doing enough to curb the violence.
“Communities are being wiped away in manners that can only be likened to ethnic cleansing. Human life, a most sacred gift from God, has become of less value than that of cattle in this part of the world. This is unacceptable,” Archbishop Martins said.
You may read the Daily Post by clicking here.