From Jude Chinedu, Enugu

Catholic Bishops in Nigeria have likened the level of insecurity, violence and bloodletting going on in different parts of Nigeria to the dark periods of the country’s civil war.

In a communique issued at the end of its second plenary meeting at the Holy Ghost Cathedral, Ogui, Enugu, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference (CBCN) said deaths in the hands of kidnappers, killer herdsmen, bandits and terrorist groups have made Nigeria one of the most terrorised countries of the world.

The Bishops posited that though they recognised government’s efforts at combatting the menace, it still needed to “show more strategic commitment and sincerity in this fight and take full responsibility for the present culture of violence and impunity in the country.”

While urging government to be balanced in its response to the challenges of insecurity, they equally advised citizens to be lawabiding, vigilant and abide by sound moral principles.

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“Regrettably, except for the civil war, our nation has never witnessed the kind of widespread evil, wanton destruction and murderous bloodletting. Life has never been so cheap nor has Nigeria ever been at the stage we are now. Deaths in the hands of kidnappers, killer herdsmen, bandits, terrorist groups have made Nigeria one of the most terrorized countries in the world.

“The abductions of schoolchildren present us with the prospects of a traumatised generation of young people.”

On agitations and moves for self-determination from different regions, the Bishops observed said they were caused by bad governance, injustice, inequity and unfairness in appointments and distribution of resources to parts of the country.

“We reiterate that the struggle for the soul of Nigeria that is presently ongoing, will not be won by ethnic cleansing, nepotism, kidnapping and banditry but by love, fairness and equity, common good and patriotism. We therefore enjoin government and all Nigerians to toe the path of justice and conciliatory dialogue and see themselves as agents of peace and development in order to ensure a harmonious and united nation.