ABUJA, NIGERIA -
Moslem leaders in the country have been called upon to be more proactive in their response to the Boko Haram sect insurgence. The call was made by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), in a press statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The statement was jointly signed by Archbishops Ignatius Kaigama and Alfred Martins, President and Secretary of the Conference, respectively.
Noting that the incessant bombing and killing of innocent Nigerian citizens by the Islamic fundamentalist group, in the name of religion is barbaric and uncalled for, the bishop stressed that all Nigerians must join hands in combating the danger, which the group constitute.
Appealing particularly to Moslem leaders in the country, the bishops said: “We call especially on the Muslim community in Nigeria to do all in its powers to reach out to those who foment, plan, encourage and carry out these acts of violence in the name of Islam.”
They continued: “We note with satisfaction that many of the recognized Muslim leaders have clearly condemned these violent and criminal actions. But it is not enough to issue verbal condemnation of terrorist activities. There is need for concrete and pro-active action to call to order those responsible and to make and to make them desist from causing any further havoc on our nation in the name of religion.”
The bishop frowned at the role of some media commentators who see the crisis in Northern Nigeria as a Muslim and Christian conflict instead of “looking at it as the misdeeds of a few elements among us who claiming to be acting for and in the name of religion wreck havoc on innocent Nigerians.
They contended: “Religion does not encourage such inhumanity we are experiencing but rather should bind us us to the Creator and to one another in love and human solidarity. The tendency to blame or exonerate ourselves or religious groups instead of focusing on the solutions has not helped at all. All hands must genuinely be on the deck.”
The bishops expressed gratitude to the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI for his concern on the Nigerian situation and appreciated his call for “an immediate end to the killing of so many innocents…” and that “all citizens will cooperate in building a peaceful and reconciled society, in which everyone’s right freely to profess their faith is fully protected.”