The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Martins has appealed to the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led government to identify the perpetrators and sponsors of the recent killings in Plateau State and other parts of the country.
According to him, President Tinubu’s action against the evildoers would prove that they were not being shielded and show that the battle against insecurity was not lost.
In a statement signed by the church’s Director of Communications, Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu, on Tuesday, Martins noted that the failure of the security agencies to bring culprits to book may leave the people to resort to bearing arms to protect their lives and property.
DAILY POST reports that from Christmas eve through December 26, there were massive attacks on communities in three local government areas of Plateau State, leading to the loss of lives and properties worth millions of naira.
The Catholic Bishop, while reacting said, “The heart of everyone with human feelings must bleed as we watched the corpses of innocent citizens lined up and buried in mass graves after being hacked down by heartless people who have been operating with impunity in many communities.”
He noted that the killings had continued because there had not been any repercussions on those who carried them out, saying that all they saw after each round of killings were government officials condemning the killings and promising that the perpetrators would be brought to book.
According to him, “the cliché is beginning to sound like a broken record, and people take such promises with a pinch of salt because no one has actually heard of anyone being taken to court or convicted for such heinous crimes”, stressing that it cannot be allowed to go on.
He said that “the people who are victims of the crimes want to see real action taken to bring justice to their dear ones”, pointing out that people’s anger can be assuaged only if those found culpable were brought to book.
He stated that they want to know who the perpetrators were and all those who sent them on the inglorious missions.
On the claim that the killings were targeted at Christians, the Archbishop said that if the killings had happened in areas that were predominantly Christian in population “and there are no efforts made to arrest the situation, as is the case today, people would feel entirely justified to come to such a conclusion.”
Martins advised the government to find a long-lasting solution to the problem.
He also urged religious groups and leaders to make efforts and bring the atrocities to an end as the consequences of religious discord were very grave.