Mathew Man-Oso Ndagoso, the archbishop of Kaduna Catholic Diocese, and the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Mathew Kukah on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, asked Nigerians not to entrust their faith onto politicians.
To them, Nigerian political leaders are not just.
The clerics spoke at Kufana in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State when Bishop Ndagoso led the Bishops of Sokoto, Zaria, Minna, Kano and the administrator of Kafanchan to conduct mass for victims of various killings in Kajuru.
They noted that the crises bedevilling the country were caused by injustice from government.
Kukah, who addressed families of victims of Kajuru killings, urged the people not to trust politicians.
At the mass, which held at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Kufana, the cleric advised Nigerians to entrust their faith in God instead of politicians.
He said the attacks on the communities in Kajuru should be a lesson to all.
According to him, the deaths were not natural but the handiwork of those he called evil men.
Kukah said the clerics were in the community to meet with Christians and Muslims and to see how to make them live in peace and unity.
He said: “The violence that occurred in the area should teach Nigerians a great lesson not to entrust their faith in politicians but in God.
“Those who were killed did not die by divine calling of God, but were killed by evil men. And this is the kind of thinking that says if you successfully robbed somebody, it is because God wants that person to be robbed. Or, when politicians carry out violence and rig elections and come to power, it is because God wants it to be so.
“My own God of the Catholic Church is not a supporter of evil and such thinking cannot be right. Our coming here is to see that all affected persons, irrespective of tribe, religion, is encouraged. Muslims and Christians in Kajuru should stand in unity and for peace. If you don’t allow the evil men to take advantage of the crack in your relationship, they will not find a space to enter.”
Addressing journalists after the mass, Archbishop Ndagoso accused political leaders of injustice.
The cleric noted that the injustice over the years had robbed the nation of the peace and unity required among the citizens for the development and growth of Nigeria.
He said he and other Christians were in the community “as church leaders to give hope, console and give joy in all circumstances of life to the families of victims of the crisis”.
Ndagoso said: “We all know the story of Kajuru Local Government crisis, especially within last year and the two quarters of this year. We knew what happened. If there is a problem between farmers and herders, it is not for us as religious leaders to take sides. Ours is to say the truth and ensure that justice is done to everybody.
“And we all know that we are where we are in this country because of inequality, simply because people are treated differently in terms of the provisions of infrastructural facilities. And so, where there are disparities and people are treated unequally, there are bound to be problems.
“So, this is where we stand as religious and Catholic leaders. Our own is to give hope and also strengthen the people.
“I can tell you that if you dig deep down, it is not only the crisis here in Kajuru, it is not only the crisis in the North or the Niger Delta region. Most of these things are hinged on injustice.”
The Northern Catholic bishops donated N2.5 million to the victims and gave the Fulani communities financial assistance.