Insurgency: Clergyman advises political leaders against hate speeches

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ABUJA – The Director, Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN), Rev. Fr. Evaristus Bassey, has appealed to political leaders to avoid `hate speech’ in the search for solutions to the nation’s challenges.

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Bassey made the appeal in Abuja on Tuesday at a mass and special prayer session organised by the CCFN for the release of the abducted female students in Chibok, Borno, and for peace in Nigeria.

He said that the situation in the country was quite tensed but the use of offensive language would only compound the situation in the country.

The cleric said that every possible means to reunite the missing girls with their parents was welcome but leaders must be cautious in the way they address the situation.

“Many demonstrations have taken place in Nigeria and all around the world, people and governments continue to express concern; the message is simple: “bring back our girls’’.

“Our government has been put in an unenviable position of confronting a phenomenon that respects no principles or values and so even our best are at a loss on what to do.

“It is important that we avoid hate speech; hate speech will not resolve anything, pain does not discriminate whether one is Christian or Muslim.

“It is immaterial whether the girls are Christians or Muslims, they are human beings and Nigerians,’’ he said.

The cleric stressed the need for all Nigerians to put heads together and fight the menace of terrorism ravaging parts of the country.

According to him, Christians and Muslims must come together, join their hearts and pray against the forces that are threatening the continued existence of the country.

Bassey said it was important for all faithful of the different religions in the country to turn their quest for solutions to the problems to God, noting that everything was possible with God.

He urged Nigerians to be aware of the tragedy caused by violence in other parts of Africa such as Rwanda, Central African Republic, Congo, Sudan and others and fight for peace in Nigeria.

In his homily, the Secretary-General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu, stressed the need for prayers, adding that military-might alone could not win the battle.

Madu said that the dimension of the insurgency required the cooperation of all Nigerians, including groups operating in the country.

He assured that the church would stand by all affected families. (NAN)

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