“We urge his government to be more proactive and find a lasting solution to the rising spate of insecurity in the country engendered especially by the activities of the terror groups like the ISIS, Boko Haram and the murderous Fulani herdsmen,” Fr. Achi said.
On his part, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese sees the Christmas Day action by the IS as part of the continued effort to promote antagonism between Christians and Muslims in the country and region.
“They are trying to create a situation of war,” Archbishop Kaigama has been quoted as telling Vatican Radio’s Francesca Sabatinelli following the Christmas Day murder and added referencing IS members, “they want to see Muslims and Christians fighting.”
According to the Nigerian Prelate, IS members live in the hope that in the midst of the confusion, they might “have the upper hand and be able to destroy Christians, take over the country and even the neighboring countries.”
Archbishop Kaigama expressed concerns around “serious discrimination” against Christian entities in his country.
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“Sometimes you have no possibility to buy land to build a church in the Northern states where Muslims are the majority. You cannot have Christian religious programmes on television or radio. You cannot teach Christian religious knowledge in schools, or have a Christian Chaplain to help the Christians in the universities,” the Archbishop said in the Vatican News report and described such discrimination as “serious problems.”
The murder of the 11 male Christians continues the narrative around the unfortunate plight of Christians in Nigeria who are discriminated against in government positions, with the vitally important dockets “being given to Muslims,” the Archbishop lamented.
He advocates for justice, equality, and fairness in view of fighting the “deliberate attempt to favour Muslims over Christians” in Nigeria.
The fact that “it is not Nigerian local media that shared the news of the killings” but the IS, is also a source of concern for the 61-year-old Nigerian Prelate.
Fr. Don Bosco Onyalla is ACI Africa’s founding Editor-in-Chief. He was formed in the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans), and later incardinated in Rumbek Diocese, South Sudan. He has a PhD in Media Studies from Daystar University in Kenya, and a Master’s degree in Organizational Communication from Marist College, New York, USA.