Catholic faithful in Kaduna took to the streets in a solemn prayer rally and procession for peace and against the incessant killings in all parts of the country calling on government to wake up to save the situation.
Leading the prayer and procession, the Vicar General Administration, Kaduna Archdiocese, Rev. Father Bulus Kari’s Lukas, said, “We are gathering here to appeal to whoever is responsible, to stop the killing in Nigeria.
“As a result of continuous and incessant gruesome killings in our dear Country, and in solidarity with every family who has lost a dear one in these unfortunate circumstances, irrespective of creed, tribe, religion or political affiliation, we are here as directed by the CBCN to join Catholics in all the dioceses in our country and all men and women of goodwill to express our deepest displeasure with the current state of the nation and to pray to God for peace in our country.
“Who will deny the fact that our families are torn by violence? Our communities are destroyed by violence. Even our faith is tested by violence? We have an obligation to respond. Violence – in our homes, our schools and streets, our nation and world – is destroying the lives, dignity and hopes of millions of our sisters and brothers turning many into widows and orphans refugees in our land. Fear of violence is paralyzing and polarizing our communities.
“Beyond the violence in the land, is the violence in our hearts. Hostility, hatred, despair and indifference are at the heart of this growing culture of violence. Verbal violence in our families and communications contribute to this culture of violence.
“Our social fabric is being torn apart by a culture of violence that leaves children dead on our streets and families afraid in our homes. Our society seems to be growing numb to human loss and suffering.
“We can turn away from violence; we can build communities of greater peace. It begins with a clear conviction: respect for life. Respect for life is not just a slogan or a program; it is a fundamental moral principle flowing from our teaching on the dignity of the human person. It is an approach to life that values people over things. Respect for life must guide the choices we make as individuals and as a society: what we do and won’t do, what we value and consume, whom we admire and whose example we follow, what we support and what we oppose.
“Respect for human life is the starting point for confronting a culture of violence. We cannot ignore the moral and human costs of so much violence in our midst.
“Recent happenings in Nigeria give cause for grave concern and worry. The wave of political assassinations, killing for ritual purposes, frequent gruesome and mass murder of harmless, innocent and defenseless citizens are instances.
“Very often our young people, the very symbols of life and vigour, are the victims and agents of this wastage of human life. In recognition of our divine mandate, we must all be reminded of the sacredness and inviolability of human life.
“No person, authority or institution has the right to terminate human life. All of us, Christians and Muslims must say NO to these senseless killings, and I urge everybody to respect the sanctity of human life and end the flow of innocent blood in our land and elsewhere.
“We demand a stronger collaboration between the government, the security agencies, and the entire population, for a more efficient protection of human life and property. We appeal to the consciences of every member of the Nigerian society to respect the eternal commandment of God; Thou shall not kill.”