Teryima Andrew, Jos
President, Conference of Catholic Bishop of Nigeria, Bishop Ignatius Kaigama, has appeal to clerics in Nigeria to caution their followers on provocative statements capable of causing more disunity among Nigerian citizens.
Kagaima who is also the catholic Bishop of Jos Archdiocese said “We call on Christian and Muslim clerics and religious leaders to use the pulpit to discourage their faithfuls from making hate speeches that create tension and leads to violence among our citizens.”
Bishop Kaigama made the call Thursday in Jos, Plateau state, in a communiqué at the end of a quarterly meeting of religious and ethnic/community leaders, held at the Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace (DREP).
The communiqué also tasked security operatives in the country to deal ruthlessly to suspected criminals in custody, as a means of curtailing increasing criminality in the society
“We also call on security agencies to prosecute all those who threaten the peace through hate speech. We call on all parents, religious and community leaders to caution their children and followers against making provocative and inciting comments.”
It added that “arrested drug addicts and criminals must not be let to go off lightly by security personnel. They should be prosecuted in proportion to their crime so as to discourage others from committing the same crime.”
It also admonished Nigerian youth to shun provocative comments that are capable of ignating fresh unrest in any part of the country “We wish to caution our youth to stop beating the drums of war and also fanning the embers of division that can threaten the peace of the country.” The communiqué insisted.
It also call for the sustenance of the current peace being enjoyed in Plateau state “we also appreciate the current peace we are enjoying in Jos town and surrounding but we decry the increasing cases of criminality and lawlessness and urge that they be curtailed.”