Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has condemned Tuesday’s killing of two Catholic priests and 17 other worshippers, during a church service in Benue State by armed herdsmen, saying that the action was not only despicable but unheard of in the history of this country.
This came as the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday, condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s condolence to the people of Benue State over the killing of the Christians, saying the president’s action was hypocritical and taunting, aimed at ridiculing the Christian faith.
The killing occurred at St. Ignatius Catholic Church Ukpor-Mbalom Parish, Gwer East Local government Area of the state. The names of the priests conducting the mass were given as Rev. Fathers Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha.
President General of Ohanaeze, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who spoke at the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the organisation in Enugu, Tuesday, said it was unthinkable that people could desecrate the hallowed or sacred place of worship and kill innocent worshippers without anybody or those in authority raising any eyebrow.
“The reports we are getting about the killing of two Catholic priests in Benue are worrisome and reprehensible. It should be condemned in all ramifications.
“It is despicable, condemnable and unacceptable. We have said it before and we are saying it again that Nigerians must be on guard. These killings should not be allowed to continue,” Nwodo said.
Tuesday’s attack in the church came barely four days after the murder of 10 persons by herdsmen in the neighbouring Guma Local Government Area and the destruction of about 300 houses by men suspected to be military personnel in Naka, Gwer West Local Government Area of the state.
It was learned that several persons sustained bullet wounds while the invaders also sacked part of the village, razing close to 60 houses, farmlands, economic trees as well as yam barns of their victims.
The Director of Communications, Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, Father Moses Iorapuu, said after the attack: “The police seem to know nothing of the attacks which have been going on in other villages within Benue State since the Anti -Open Grazing Law came into effect last year.
“Many people are asking why the international community has remained silent over the massacre of Benue citizens.
Meantime, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday, condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s condolence to the people of Benue State over the killing of 19 christians, including two Reverend Fathers, by herdsmen, saying the president’s action was hypocritical and taunting, which was aimed at ridiculing the Christian faith.
A statement by the MASSOB leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu, described the herdsmen as a killer squad and wondered how its patron could send condolences to its victims, adding that such condolences were glaringly full of hypocrisy.
The statement said: “We know that Miyetti Allah, the real movement using herdsmen as a camouflage, is the fourth worst terrorist organization in the world ranking.
“It’s members have openly vowed and threatened by their sponsors and patrons, which include Islamic religious, traditional and opinion leaders that they will continue to dominate and terrorize all perceived enemies and oppositions.”
“They have also insisted that President Buhari must continue as president of Nigeria because he is their own, who is implementing the religious instruction of Othman Dan Fodio.”
MASSOB charged the Catholic Church and the people of Benue State not to accept President Buhari’s condolence massage because, according to the organization, “he hypocritically exempted his Islamic foot soldiers from the gruesome murders of followers of Jesus Christ.”
He said It was obvious that President Buhari would hand over power to a Muslim Yoruba man after his tenure, adding that those in authority were seriously working on this Islamic agenda which no APC bigwigs from old Eastern region could stop.
He said further: “Chibuike Amaechi, Rochas Okorocha, Ogbonnaya Onu, Chris Ngige and others from Igbo land that later joined APC are political errand boys and stooges of the real owners and controllers of APC.
“With President Buhari’s body language and Osibanjo’s consistent defense of his master, the appointments of all security service chiefs from Buhari’s Islamic kinsmen, his continuous defence and protection of his foot soldiers popularly known as Fulani herdsmen, his insensitivities against non Muslims and inabilities to protect the citizens, are all clear signs and evidences that Buhari is executing an arranged and planned agenda that is detrimental to non Muslims in Nigeria.
“The rot, imbalances and inequalities in education sector, where there are special and preferential laws for northern citizens against the southern citizens, the economic harsh policies against the people of Eastern region, the continuous tribalism and sentimental hatred exhibited against the people of Eastern region and Christians in Nigeria, are all manifestation of bad government .
“MASSOB still maintains and insists that President Buhari remains the last president of Nigeria. His secret pact with Bola Tinubu and other top selected Islamic leaders in Nigeria will never be achieved.
“Nigeria is already sitting on a time bomb which will likely explode soon. The consciousness of future survival of the people of Biafra, the Middle Belt and Oduduwa, have been reawakened for total defence of our lands and our people from Buhari and his kinsmen.”