Nigeria “never had it this bad in terms of insecurity”: Catholic Archbishop at Wake Mass

Priests protest at the funeral of Father Vitus Borogo in the archdiocese of Kaduna on June 30, 2022. Photos courtesy of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna

At the Vigil Mass in honor the late Fr. Vitus Borogo, a Catholic Clergy of Kaduna Archdiocese, the Archbishop of the Nigerian has decried the high levels of insecurity in the West African country, saying it has reached unprecedented levels. 

In his homily at the Wake Mass for the Nigerian Catholic Priest who was killed following an attack on June 25, Archbishop Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso urged the faithful to trust in God amid the heightened insecurity in Africa's most populous country.

Fr. Borogo, 50, was killed June 25 at Prison Farm in Kaduna when “terrorists” raided the farm.  

We can say that since the Nigerian nation came into existence, we've never had it this bad in terms of insecurity,” Archbishop Ndagoso said Thursday, June 30. 

The Archbishop of Kaduna added that Nigeria's current situation is worse than the civil war period. He said, “Even in the worst of times when we had a civil war, the killings were where the battleground was, where the war was being fought. This time around it is everywhere.”


The Nigerian Archbishop described as “unfortunate” and “truly incredible” that “things of this nature will be happening with impunity” in the country yet there is a government in place.

“Tragedies such as the one we have, having a dynamic Priest having his life cut short in the split of a second, his life being wasted, are similar to black outs because they come so suddenly. They are so tragic and so sudden that they hit you like a blackout,” he said. 

Archbishop Ndagoso further said that the Muhammadu Buhari-led government and State of Kaduna “have created enabling environments” for tragedies in the West African nation. 

“Truth be told, knowingly or unknowingly our governments have created enabling environments that enable this kind of tragedies to happen continuously,” he said, adding that the enabling environments have been made possible by some of the policies that have been made “with impunity.”

The 62-year-old Nigerian Archbishop blamed the continuous tragedies in Nigeria on what he called a "deliberate policy of exclusion”. 

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This policy is detrimental to Nigeria’s security, he said, and explained, “When people are excluded, they have no sense of belonging to the nation. This policy has led to abject poverty.”

Policies that foster exclusion, the Archbishop went on to say, “have destroyed people's source of life and therefore pushing some people to do things sometimes they would normally not do."

He emphasized, "These kinds of policies that our governments both at the state-level government and national level put together create the enabling environments that breed banditry, kidnappings, terrorism, and robbery."

The Nigerian Archbishop regretted the fact that the government creates an environment that enables insecurity, “we say it is the will of God”. 

“It cannot be the will of God. It is our failure,” he lamented, and added, “This country Nigeria, God has given us all it takes to make it a great nation. Because of selfish leaders, people who just have their interests, the interests of their group, the interest of their family. That has led us to where we are.”


He continued, “Our country today, what we are, our situation, has been created by bad leadership. We can't be blaming God. it is not God's will.” 

Nigeria has been struggling with a wave of violence by armed gangs who frequently carry out killings and kidnappings for ransom, BBC News reported in April.

The country has been experiencing insecurity since 2009 when the Boko Haram insurgency emerged with the aim of turning the West African country into an Islamic state. 

Members of the group have been organizing indiscriminate terrorist attacks on various targets, including religious and political groups as well as civilians.

Archbishop Ndagoso called on Nigerians to trust in God amid the insecurity. 

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“I know that all of us seated here are traumatized; we are afraid; we are despondent; we are troubled. Each time you hit the road, your life jumps; your soul sits on your head. You are watching, looking around,” the Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in Nigeria’s Maiduguri Diocese in May 2003 said. 

He added, “If you are traumatized, if you are afraid, if you are frightened, if you are shocked, if you do not know what to do, if you are confused, you are right but beyond that I want you to know that God, our God being Emmanuel, He is in all this.”

“We are not alone. Our God does not only know our sufferings and sorrows. He suffers with us, he agonizes with us, He is with us on this journey of the road of suffering that we Nigerians are on today,” said the Local Ordinary of Kaduna.

In his June 30 homily, Archbishop Ndagoso said the late Fr. Borogo "lived a fruitful life." 

"Even though he died young, I can say that he lived a fruitful life. Living a fruitful life has nothing to do with duration. It has everything to do with the intensity or the quality of life that you live," he said. 

The Priest who was serving as the Chairman of the Catholic Priests in Kaduna Archdiocese at the time of his death also "lived an intense and qualitative life," Archbishop Ndagoso said. 

"We didn't want him to go this way. We pray therefore that the Almighty God would forgive him his own sins and grant him the word of eternal life.”

“May the soul of Fr. Vitus and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace," the Nigerian Archbishop implored. 

Dozens of Priests and hundreds of Catholics took to the streets to protest the killings and abductions of members of the Clergy after participating in the burial Fr. Borogo on June 30.

Archbishop Ndagoso of Kaduna broke into tears as he buried his Priest, Fr. Vitus Borogo.

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.