There was a mass peaceful protest by members of the Catholic Church on Tuesday to express their displeasure over the killing of two priests and seventeen other members of the church by suspected herdsmen in Benue State in April.
The protest is in response to the directive by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria that all Catholic faithful across the country should embark on a peaceful and prayerful protest, tagged, ‘March for Life’.
The members were directed to be dressed in “all Catholic society groups, apostolate, Bishop’s installation or parish uniforms.” Those who do not have any of those were advised to be dressed in a white top while “priests shall be in cassock and habits.”
The 19 victims of the attack were buried at the Ayati pilgrim site near Ikpayongo in Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State on Tuesday.
In Oyo State, the parishioners, priests, vicars and reverend sisters gathered at the SS Peter and Paul Major Seminary in Bodija area of Ibadan and they were led in a procession by Archbishop Gabriel Abegunrin to the state secretariat in Agodi, Ibadan, where they were received by Dr. Gbade Ojo, the Chief of Staff to Oyo State Governor. The protesters carried placards bearing various inscription, among them, ‘No more killing’, ‘Christians are citizens too,’ ‘We say no to herdsmen killing’, Every person is created in the image of God’, Nigerians, arise and stand for justice,’ and ‘We must demand what we deserve’.