On Tuesday, May 22, two priests and 17 worshipers were buried in middle-belt region of Nigeria.
They had been murdered last April. Steps have been organized on Tuesday across the country, Thousands of Catholics took to the streets to denounce the violence.
The burial took place on Tuesday in Benue State where thousands of Catholic Christians gathered around the coffins. In this region, since the beginning of the year, there have been deadly clashes between Christian farmers and Fulani Muslim pastoralists.
On April 24, a massacre of two priests and 17 faithfuls took place in the village of Mbalom. Fulani herders are accused of these killings.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, an evangelical pastor, said, “We can guarantee justice… by apprehending and punishing their attackers, rebuilding the damaged areas and healing the wounds that have been caused”.
During the burial, hundreds of priests and thousands of Catholic faithfuls gathered in the country’s major cities to protest against the government’s indifference to the growing violence.
In the capital of Lagos, one could read on the placards raised by the demonstrators, “we need peace and justice” while others displayed “stop the killings or resign”.
The object of this violence is none other than the fertile lands of central Nigeria. In several states in this part of the country, the predominantly Christian farmers on one side and the Fulani Muslim farmers on the other, claim these lands.
For the Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins, the perpetrators of these crimes are “terrorists”.
“Christians were not doing anything wrong”, he has said.