The recent series of coordinated attacks in Nigeria’s Plateau State over the Christmas period has raised deep concerns and questions, prompting Cardinal John Onaiyekan to stress the need for a concrete response in an interview with correspondent RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY (RECONA) had copy. The Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja highlighted the seriousness of the situation, noting that although the security crisis is not new, these recent incidents raise concerns about new organizations potentially behind these attacks.
Pope Francis expressed shock and concern during his Angelus on December 31, deploring the violence that marked Christmas celebrations in Nigeria. He offered his prayers for the victims and their families, calling for the liberation of Nigeria from these atrocities.
Between December 23 and 26, attacks across Plateau State left approximately 200 people dead, 500 injured, and more than 200 families displaced. Villages were ravaged, forcing residents to seek refuge in camps for displaced people. These acts, described as coordinated and well-executed, raise questions about the security crisis and government failings.
Cardinal Onaiyekan expressed his perplexity at the security situation, highlighting the large budgets allocated to security each year, as well as the massive presence of security agents. Despite this, criminals manage to carry out such horrific acts, calling into question the effectiveness of the security measures in place.
The government’s role in resolving this crisis remains uncertain. The cardinal recalled the failures of the previous government, even highlighting allegations of complicity in these atrocities. It calls for serious and concrete actions to guarantee the security of citizens.
The cardinal suggests that it is imperative to identify the groups responsible for these attacks and bring them to justice. It highlights the ethnic, economic, and potentially religious tensions fueling this crisis, calling for strong government action.
Cardinal Onaiyekan expressed gratitude to Pope Francis for mentioning the situation in Nigeria during his Christmas Day messages. He stressed that while shameful that the country is associated with such atrocities, international recognition of the situation is crucial to resolving the problem.