Human Life in Nigeria “reduced to an abysmally all-time-low”: Bishops in Lagos Province

Credit: Archdiocese of Lagos

Catholic Bishops in Nigeria’s Lagos Ecclesiastical Province have bemoaned “senseless killings” in the country saying human life in the West African nation “has been reduced to an abysmally all-time-low owing to insecurity and other criminality across the land.”

In their latest collective statement, the Catholic Local Ordinaries of Lagos Archdiocese and the Dioceses of Ijebu-Ode and Abeokuta say, “We regret to note that despite the wide outcry of condemnation that have greeted the continuous senseless killings of innocent lives and other waves of violence across the country, it is far from being abated.”

They highlight the killing of Fr. Luke Adeleke, a member of the Clergy of the Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta who was murdered on Christmas Eve 2021 while returning to his residence after celebrating Holy Mass and the torching of a Catholic Church in Taraba State as some of the most recent cases of insecurity and violence. 

“These and numerous other cases of violence have been the hallmark of our nation. How long would these be allowed to continue?” the Catholic Bishops pose in their communiqué circulated Sunday, February 6.

They say they will continue “to call on the government to utilize all the state resources at their disposal to put an end to these dastardly acts of killing and violence across the country before it consumes everyone.”


The Catholic Bishops encourage Nigerians “to look to the future with hope and faith in our nation backed up with the power of prayer which is able to change things for the better.”

In their collective statement, the Catholic Church leaders in the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos also address the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and the need for eligible Nigerians to actively participate in politics ahead of the general elections scheduled for 2023.

“We note that a wave of political maneuvering ahead of next year’s National elections have commenced across the country. As the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gets set to release its time table, we call on all eligible Nigerians to be active players in the political field by registering themselves with the political parties of their choice and ensuring that their voices are heard,” they say.

The Catholic Bishops further urge the electorate “not to sit on the fence but to ensure that they get their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) ready and to vote at the elections so as to choose credible leaders of their choice that will ensure the growth and progress of our country, Nigeria.”

Addressing themselves to members of the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) in the area covered by Lagos Ecclesiastical Province, the Bishops say there is need to organize a series of seminars and workshops geared at getting the electorate to be more alive to their responsibilities ahead of the coming elections.

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On COVID-19 pandemic, the Catholic Bishops observe, “The fact that our land has witnessed very limited casualties in the past two years is no doubt a sign of divine providence.”

There is however the need for Nigerians to “take time to examine and identify the peculiar variables that may have helped to reduce the effects of the virus compared to Europe and America,” Catholic Bishops of Lagos Ecclesiastical Province say in their collective statement.

“While we call for continuous vigilance and strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols by all and sundry, we also wish to advocate for improved government funding of our research agencies/institutions to equip and empower our local scientists and health professionals to rise up to the challenge of producing potent locally manufactured remedies/vaccines that, considering our peculiarity and atmospheric condition would help put a final stop to the COVID-19 and other viruses,” they say.

Nigeria has recorded 253,727 cases of COVID-19 including 3,139 deaths and 230,126 recoveries. 

In their statement, the Catholic Church leaders also lauded Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo of Oyo Diocese for his appointment as a member of the Vatican Dicastery for Communications.


“This appointment is no doubt a clear attestation of the fact the Church in Nigeria is growing in leaps and bounds,” they say about the on December 3 appointment to the Dicastery that was established in July 2015. 

The Catholic Bishops further say that they “have no doubt that” Bishop Badejo’s appointment to the Dicastery for Communication “will usher in remarkable opportunities for further growth in the activities of the Communications Apostolate in the Church.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.