Catholic Entity Urges Nigeria to “address root causes of violence, protect all people”

Logo International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC). Credit: ICMC

The leadership of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) has appealed to Nigeria’s government to offer protection to the people of God in the West African nation and work towards addressing “the root cause of violence”.

In a Monday, September 26 statement to the 51st Meeting of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, ICMC officials and their partners also express “grave concern for the human rights situation” in Africa’s most populous country. 

“The global community can no longer stand as disinterested bystanders while Nigerians tragically lose their lives and property and are displaced by violence in many areas of the country,” ICMC officials say in the statement co-signed by Caritas Internationalis, Caritas Nigeria, Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII, VIDES, IIMA, New Humanity, and World Evangelical Alliance.

They add, “The dimensions of this crisis have been reported by our member organizations and partners on the ground and by the international multilateral agencies, such as the Office of the UN Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.”

“The International Catholic Migration Commission and other co-signatories call upon the government of Nigeria to address the root causes of violence and protect all people in the country,” ICMC officials say.


They advocate for a collaborative approach, specifying the involvement of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) that has the mandate to foster and protect all human rights for all people and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) that pushes for diversity and equality before the law.

In this regard, ICMC officials encourage the Muhammadu Buhari-led government to “strengthen its collaboration with the OHCHR and the HRC’s Special procedures, especially with the mandates on freedom of religion and belief, and on IDPs (internally displaced persons) to effectively protect human rights and prevent further displacement and loss of lives.”

Nigeria has been grappling with insecurity since 2009 when the Boko Haram insurgency began targeted attacks with the aim of turning Africa's most populous nation into an Islamic State.

Members of the Islamist group have been organizing random attacks on various targets including civilians, political and religious leaders.

In the September 26 statement, ICMC officials recall the recent appeal that Catholic Bishops in Nigeria made decrying violence, saying, “The worsening state of insecurity in our nation as well as activities of terrorists and insurgents, kidnappers and bandits…Attacks on travelers and worshippers in Churches and other places of worship have become too frequent.”

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“We continue to call on civil authorities to stand up to their constitutional responsibility of safeguarding the lives and property of Nigerians,” ICMC officials say in reference to the message of members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).

In a communiqué read out at the end of their 2022 second Plenary Assembly held at the Sacred Heart Pastoral/Retreat Center in the Diocese of Orlu, CBCN members urged the government of Nigeria “to make adequate policies and provide the enabling environment for the creation of more jobs by both the government and the private sector.”

Catholic Bishops in Nigeria enjoined all “to strengthen security measures in their homes and institutions” and called on “all citizens to be law-abiding, vigilant, and to shun all forms of violence and criminality.”

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.