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.”
“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.
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