Catholic Knights of the order of St. Mulumba Nigeria have charged Federal Government to quickly take steps to stop the incessant killings in some parts of the country by suspected herdsmen.
The organisation made this plea in a statement signed by Brother Diamond Ovueraye, Supreme Knight of the order of Knights of St Mulumba in Nigeria.
The group decried government’s unconvincing approach to addressing the myriads of challenges facing the nation.
According to Brother Ovueraye, “We note particularly a sense of despondency arising from a feeling of abandonment by government and the shear impunity of herdsmen and numerous killings, wanton destruction of property and people’s sources of livelihood.
“We have watched the government’s reaction or lack of it to these acts of lawlessness and brutality. We abhor and decry these killings, as our faith strongly prescribes the sacredness of lives and join other well-meaning Nigerians to condemn such acts.
“We condemn in equal measure the seeming inaction of the Federal Government of Nigeria in reining-in these brigands. It is strange that a group has been allowed unfettered access roaming freely, with high calibre weapons, using same to dispense tears, sorrows and death. This incidentally, is a sad replay of our chequered history.”
The Catholic Knights called the attention of the security agents to the urgent need of checking the activities of the herdsmen before their atrocities degenerate into a more serious crisis capable of tearing the seams of a neatly woven national garment.
Aligning with the position of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), who had earlier prescribed ranching as a viable alternative to open grazing, the Knights urged government to study how developed and other developing nations have moved on from these archaic and trouble laden open grazing to newer and better technologically driven methods.
According the Knights, “We are convinced that this method will bring about a faster improvement in the socio-economic lives of these herdsmen and as well put to rest perennial and degenerating clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
“We have seen from people’s reaction that the options of cattle colony or grazing reserves do not sit well with them arising from history and mutual suspicion. We note that cattle breeding, like poultry and fish farming is a purely private business and we implore Government to put in structures and enabling environment for all farmers and business men to excel.”
The Knights commended government for successfully degrading the Boko Haram sect as a potent force, thereby giving hope that the internally displaced Nigerians who have gone through untold hardship, can return to their homes and kick start their lives.
They said, “We also commend the government for their plans to rebuild the North-East which includes schools, hospitals, government offices, worship centres etc. We pray to urgently see the closure of this sad chapter in our tenuous and long march for nationhood.”