“May that desecration of the sanctuary, the desecration of the body of Christ and that crime against humanity expressed in their lament not go unpunished,” he said, and posed, “On this kind of occasion it is opportune to ask: How many more must die before the senseless killings in Nigeria stop?”
The 60-year-old Nigerian Bishop who has been at the helm of Oyo Diocese since November 2009 regretted the loss the West African nation experienced in the Pentecost Sunday massacre.
Credit: Courtesy Photo
He said, “In these coffins a part of Nigeria lies dead too…Because lying down here with these deceased ones are the joys and hopes and aspirations of their families and loved ones, of the Church of God, of the various communities from where they come and indeed of this country.”
“Even the ones who are maimed and wounded themselves wherever they are, represent Nigeria with all her self-inflicted wounds, bruised, brutalized and violated. So, I ask, for how much longer shall this continue?” Bishop Badejo posed.
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He further posed, “From President Muhammad’s BUHARI, from the federal government the lawmakers, security agencies and all leaders with responsibility for the State at all levels, I ask … How many more must die?”
“To surrender to faith is not to surrender to bestial murder, injustice, discrimination or oppression,” Bishop Badejo noted, and added, “Our Christian faith, strong as it is, is thoroughly tested when we remember that the massacre in OWO is not an isolated case in our country and that we see little on ground to indicate that it might be the last. In fact, we have a long, bloody list, always growing over the last 30 odd years.”
“Even as I speak many Priests and citizens of Nigeria are in the hands of kidnappers,” he told mourners.
The Nigerian Bishop expressed appreciation to the courageous leaders who “are able to raise their voice against the ongoing persecution and injustice in many sectors in Nigeria.”
“Few are those who act up at times like these to stem the surge of violence and bloodshed that threatens to engulf us. We pay tribute to the few leaders around who have showed uncommon courage in denouncing the evil in their areas and taken some action but the general picture is bleak. This murder at OWO shows that far more must be done,” he said.
The Catholic Bishop regretted the fact that “ritual killings, abductions, murders, lynching, kidnappings, armed robbery still increase the bloody tally of innocent deaths and suffering in Nigeria day by day.”
“All this is going on while many of our leaders and people in power do business as usual, feign deaf and dumb or worse still continue with their macabre rallies and dances done merely to grapple for positions and privileges or perhaps even mourn the dead, the dying and suffering,” he bemoaned, adding, “I say God is not served nor amused by this and judgment will one day come.”
Credit: Courtesy Photo
Bishop Badejo called on President Buhari and other leaders in the Federal Government and State governments “to wake up, sit up and act up to secure life and property all over Nigeria.”
“I urge leaders at every level to listen to the cry for help of the people they claim to serve, shun discrimination and hypocrisy and do their duty. The present situation must not continue so that people may not resort to self-help and kill this country entirely,” Bishop Badejo says.
To the perpetrators of the Pentecost Sunday massacre and other crimes in Africa’s most populous nation, Bishop Baejo said, “The God of life calls on you to repent. The Church of Christ invites you to a change of heart, to cast away your arms, to repent and embrace peace.”
“Why would you be agents of destruction of life in which you yourself share? Why be an instrument of bloodshed in this beautiful country given to all? Why would you abuse and destroy humanity of which you yourselves are part?” he posed in his homily June 17.
Still addressing himself to those behind the massacre, Bishop Badejo said, “You may make us cry and mourn but we shall never stop inviting you to come share in the love and joy of God who loves you as he loves everyone. Fill your heart with love and cast out hatred.”
“May Mary the Mother of Jesus who stood at the foot of Jesus’ cross intercede for as all… Amen May God bless our country, Nigeria. Amen,” Bishop Badejo implored in his June 17 homily.
Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.