President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday evening (May 2, 2016) met behind closed doors with 16 Catholic Bishops under the aegis of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria.
The meeting which started at about 9pm was held inside the First Lady’s Conference Hall at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Buhari was joined at the meeting by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; and the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, among other aides.
The bishops were led to the meeting by their President, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama who is the Archbishop of Jos.
Other members of the delegation were the Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan; Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah; Archbishop of Benin City, Augustine Akubeze; Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Godfrey Onah; Felix Alaba Job; Anthony Obina; Valerian Okeke; Gabriel Abegunrin; Matthew Ndagoso; Lucius Ugorji; William Ayenya; John Nyiring; Camilius Umoh; Ralph Madu; and John Okoye.
Although the agenda of the meeting was not made public, our correspondent learnt that the issue of the increasing attacks by herdsmen across the country would be part of the discussion.
Onaiyekan was last week attacked by suspected herdsmen along the Benin-Ekpoma Road on his way from where he went to attend the 10 years anniversary of the enthronement of Akubueze as a bishop and also to attend the 10 years anniversary of the Diocese of Uromi.
The development made Akubueze and the Catholic Bishop of Uromi Diocese, Dr. Donatus Ogun, to appeal to Buhari to tackle the issue of the growing attacks of hoodlums in Edo State.
Onah had also condemned the massacre of scores of people at Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State by Fulani herdsmen.
Onah, who addressed newsmen at the St. Theresa’s Catholic Cathedral in Nsukka, Friday, said that the diocese is worried about the senseless killing of “innocent, unarmed and defenceless citizens of Nimbo.”
He said that the Nimbo massacre was analogous to the scenes of the 1966 civil war where people were forced to flee their homes in search of solace and peace, adding that the current crisis is different particularly as people are not only chased away from their homes, but also from their farms, churches, schools and village markets.
Culled from Punch