Catholic Bishop in Nigeria Decries Government, International Laxed Response to Attacks

Bishop Julius Yakubu Kundi of Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Bishop of Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan has decried the laxity in the government and international community’s response to the incessant attacks in the West African nation.

On March 20, bandits raided Agban Kagoro, Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State, and reportedly torched at least 200 houses and killed 32 people. 

In a Tuesday, March 22 statement, Bishop Julius Yakubu Kundi says incessant attacks on the people of God forces them to believe that Christians in the region “are gradually becoming an endangered species that are earmarked for extermination.”

“It is quite scandalous that while the pogrom against Christians from Southern Kaduna and the Middle Belt is metamorphosing into genocide, the Government and the International Community’s narratives present it as an ethnic clash that can be comfortably tamed by the Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies,” Bishop Kundi says in the statement shared with ACI Africa. 

He queries, “What is the acceptable number of deaths that qualify for genocide under international law? What is the criterion used by the international community to place value on a life?”


Bishop Kundi says the people of Southern Kaduna are in anguish due to the unceasing attacks.

“The groaning of the people is deafening, the threats that assail us from different directions are increasing and we have been pushed to the end of our wits in terms of our search for a lasting solution,” the Local Ordinary of Kafanchan says in the March 22 statement. 

The Nigerian Catholic Bishop further says, “Our people do not feel the protection of government and with no clear efforts to apprehend these murderers, citizens’ trust in government and its capacity to defend them is waning by the day.”

Bishop Kundi says it is time for the government and security agents in the West African nation to “promptly do more than the usual moral denunciations and assurances that things are under control.”

In the March 22 statement titled, “Enough of the Bloodshed”, the 54-year-old Catholic Bishop says the people of God in his Diocese were enjoying relative peace before the March 20 attack. 

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“While our people were rebuilding their lives and hoping that some normalcy would return, little did we know that our enemies were spending sleepless nights planning well thought out plans to annihilate us,” the Catholic Church leader laments.

He continues in reference to the latest attacks, “From nowhere, our relative calm was disrupted when, at about 8 p.m. on March 20th, these evil men descended on our community in Kagoro and brutally murdered over 20 people.”

Bishop Kundi adds, “We had breathed a sigh of relief after the brutal attacks of the peace-loving people of Zaman Dabo and Tsonje only as recent as the 1st and 12th, February in both Zangon Kataf and Jema’a Local Government Areas this year.” 

“How long will this go on and when will it all end?” the Catholic Bishop poses.

Against this backdrop, Bishop Kundi says he shares in the pain of the people of Kagoro.


“I wish to assure all our peace-loving people that we feel your pain,” the Nigerian Catholic Bishop says, and adds, “May the souls of all those who have lost their lives in the hands of these evil men of darkness and those of all the Faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.”

He goes on to call on the people of Kagoro to coexist with each other harmoniously saying it will be the greatest honor to the deceased persons.

“We have always lived together and in peace. We must unite to ensure that we outlive these agents of darkness that threaten to overwhelm our communities,” Bishop Kundi says.

The Catholic Bishop who has been at the helm of Kafanchan Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in February 2020 further says, “It is time for the people to drop every divisive element that threatens to push us apart. This is the time to embrace our common humanity.”

Addressing himself to the people of God, Bishop Kundi says it is time for them “to form a common force that will fight to a standstill the blood-thirsting men whose one tall dream is to obliterate the indigenous settlements across our nation and to further balkanize us along religious lines.”

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In the statement, the Nigerian Catholic Church leader urges the people to refrain from reprisal attacks saying, "We leave them and their sponsors in the hands of God, our creator who sees everything."

"I therefore call on all of us, Christians or Muslims, across and beyond the limited walls of differences to remain calm and stand together," Bishop Kundi says. 

He goes on to encourage the people of God to remain optimistic about a more peaceful future despite the attacks. 

“We are facing some real challenges, but we won’t give up. Many are our trials, but we won’t turn back. We may be temporarily down, but we are certainly not out,” the Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Kafanchan Diocese says.

He continues, “Though our sorrow may last for the night - even if it stretches beyond just a night - I know that however long it takes, daybreak will come and joy comes with the morning.” 

“Courage my dear friends,” the Catholic Bishop says, and adds in reference to the words of St-Paul to the Corinthians, “We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.”

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.