Killing of priests, worshippers: Anagbe, Ortom preach forgiveness
The Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe, has appealed to Christians to forgive the invasion and killing of two priest and 17 worshippers at Ayar Mbalon in April this year.
Bishop Anagbe spoke when he led the Catholic faithful to the atonement rites at St. Ignatius Quasi Parish, Ayar Mbalom where two Catholic priests, Rev Fr. Joseph Gor, Felix Tyolaha and 17 worshipers were killed in April this year.
Bishop Anagbe warned politicians to stop playing politics with people lives but to rather embark on projects that will change lives and attract goodwill from the people.
Bishop Anagbe also asked senator representing Benue North West, George Akume, to apologize over his statement which indicated that Benue people and not the Fulani herdsmen were responsible for the killings in the state.
The Bishop expressed worry that Christians are being used by non-Christians to cause disharmony and attack themselves.
He said similar killings were going on in Jos Plateau state, Katsina state, Zamfara, Taraba but for the senator in the state to try changing the narrative was disheartening.
According to the Bishop, one of the slain priest Felix Tyolaha, was displaced from Guma by the herdsmen before he was posted to Mbalom and two days before his death he posted on his Facebook wall complaining that the Fulani herdsmen surrounded Mbalom but he was not going to leave the place.
He noted that for someone because of political reasons to have said that Benue and not Fulani herdsmen were responsible for the killings in the state was the most unthinkable thing.
Speaking at the occasion Governor Samuel Ortom said it is disgraceful, shameful and unfortunate for Akume, who represents the seven local governments, some of where people were killed and still under siege by herdsmen, to come out and say that Fulani herdsmen were not responsible for the killings in the state.
He said herdsmen had, at a press conference, said there would be bloodbath in the state if herdsmen were not allowed entrance into Benue. "Even after the bloodbath, they had also claimed responsibility for the crime because they said 1000 if their cows were rustled.