News made headlines some few days ago on the killing of two Catholic priests and their worshippers during Mass at St. Ignatius’ Catholic Church, Ayar in Benue state.
According to Jude Ortese, a reverend father and chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, the priests and their worshippers were praying for a solution to the killings in the state, when the suspected herdsmen struck on Tuesday.
“The two priests will be buried with their worshippers and this is significant because they were praying together and seeking lasting solution to the unending killings, which had become a recurring decimal,” he said.
Ortese also disclosed that the 19 victims will be buried at Susugh Maria Pilgrimage Centre, Ayati, Ikpayongo, Gwer east local government area of the state.
He, however, warned against a situation where the people will have to defend themselves. According to him, it is the responsibility of the government that the people voted into power, to protect them, and they should hold up to this.
“We cannot go back to the primitive way of buying weapon to defend ourselves because out of million of Nigerians one person is elected to protect us and the person should perform his constitutional duty.
“Nigerians are paying taxes to be protected, so the federal government must protect our lives and properties,” he said.
The mass burial, he said, will hold on May 22.
Protests in Makurdi
The killing of the two Catholic priests and worshippers has sparked off protests across the state, particularly Makurdi.
While the corpses of the victims were being driven to town, a large number of youths took over the major roads and streets, including the busy Makurdi/Gboko, Makurdi/Kafia, as well as the Wurukum Roundabout.
The irate youths also set bonfires on major streets in Makurdi metropolis.
All the major markets including Makurdi Modern Market, Wurukum Market, Wadata Market and High Level Market, as well as commercial banks and schools were shut.