“Step Down, You Failed Nigerians”, Catholic Priests Blast Buhari at Burial of Colleague

… As Edo Acting Governor Says, “Only God Can Heal Our Land”.

Grieving Catholic priests who on Friday laid to rest one of their own, Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia-Ogedegbe, who was gruesomely murdered by his abductors penultimate Sunday in Ikabigbo, Etsako West local government area of Edo State, have lampooned President Muhammadu Buhari over his inability to protect the lives of the citizenry.

Lamenting worsening insecurity in the country, the Nigeria Catholic Diocesan Priests Association, (NCDPA), pointedly told President Buhari to step aside as he cannot continue to preside over “the killing field and mass graveyard” that the country has become.

At the funeral mass and interment held for Fr. Odia-Ogedegbe, erstwhile Parish priest of St. Michael Catholic Church, Ikabigbo, at the Priests’ Cemetery, Immaculate Conception Seminary, Ivianokpodi-Agenebode, in Etsako East LGA, the National President of the NCDPA, Fr. Johnbosco Ezehi, said it was clear that the President has failed in his primary duty of protecting the lives of Nigerians.

Ezehi said, “We condemn the increasing attacks by suspected herdsmen who have turned the country into a massive graveyard. If the President cannot keep our country safe, then he automatically loses the trust of the citizens. He should no longer continue to preside over the killing field and mass graveyard that our country has become.

“Nigerians call on the President to take drastic and urgent steps to reverse the ugly tragedy that threatens the foundation of our collective existence and unity as a nation. It’s clear to the nation that the president has failed in his primary duty of protecting the lives of Nigerians.”

Acting Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, who led other top government functionaries to pay their last respect to the late 41-year-old cleric, agreed with Fr. Ezehi that the government had failed in its responsibilities of securing lives and properties.

Shaibu noted that “If the issue of security was tackled early enough, we would not get to where we are today. We must turn to God to help us now as our land is troubled, and only God will heal our land.”

Reassuring Edo people of improved security in the state, the acting governor said, “As a state government, we have decided to take our destiny in our own hands and not push the blame. We are collaborating with security agencies and stakeholders in securing our state.

“We have involved religious leaders and vigilante groups, among others, and have adequately equipped them to strengthen our security architecture. We want to secure the property and lives of our people.”

Shaibu noted that the state was localising security and working with all security stakeholders in the state to ensure a peaceful, safe, and secure environment, adding, “We can’t isolate ourselves from the federal security; and we are calling on everyone to be security officers, collaborating with the government to secure our land.”

Also speaking, the Catholic Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Most. Rev. Gabriel Dunia, appealed to the federal, state, and local governments, to do the needful by protecting the lives and property of the people which is their primary responsibility as “the Lord has entrusted the leadership and security of Nigeria into their hands”.

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