The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign, stressing that the federal government has failed in the responsibility of protecting the lives and property of citizens.
Speaking while condemning the recent killings in Benue state and other parts of the country where suspected herdsmen attacked St Ignatius Catholic Church, and killed 19 people, including two priests, the CBCN said Buhari’s handling of the killings appears to show his connivance with the suspected killers.
The group bared its mind in a statement entitled ‘When will this barbarism end?’ issued by its president, Augustine Akubeze, and secretary, Camillus Umoh. They called on Buhari to consider “stepping aside to save the nation from total collapse”, stressing that they want the President to “stop presiding over the killing field that Nigeria has become”.
The statement read, “We are sad. We are angry. We feel totally exposed and most vulnerable. Faced with these dark clouds of fear and anxiety, our people are daily being told by some to defend themselves.
“But defend themselves with what? The federal government, whose primary responsibility it is to protect lives, for its part alleges that those who ask the people to defend themselves are inciting them to take the laws into their own hands.
“It is clear to the nation that he has failed in his primary duty of protecting the lives of the Nigerian citizens.
“Whether this failure is due to inability to perform or lack of political will, it is time for him to choose the part of honour and consider stepping aside to save the nation from total collapse.”
The religious leaders accused the president of failing to call the security agencies to order while alleging that there is a conspiracy between both parties.
According to them, “We are sad and fear that the clock is ticking. The bomb must be defused quickly before it explodes.
“Since the president, who appointed the heads of the nation’s security agencies, has refused to caution them even in the face of the chaos and barbarity into which our country has been plunged, we are left with no choice but to conclude that they are acting a script that he approves of.
“If the President cannot keep our country safe, then he automatically loses the trust of the citizens.”