5th September 2016 

The source of violence and conflict in Nigeria


Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos, Nigeria has said that the source of violence and conflicts in Nigeria is rooted in the lack of correctly applying religious values of love and care to fellow citizens even though the nation is a very religious nation.

He attributed the various agitations in the country such as attacks by herdsmen in farm lands, gruesome murder of preachers, violent invasion of places of worship by fanatics in the likes of Boko Haram, Niger Delta Avengers, promoters of the Biafra cause, herdsmen militants, etc. to a perceived lack of fairness and equity.

The Archbishop said this during the 14th General Assembly of the Catholic Archdiocese of Jos, Nigeria held from August 29 to September 2, 2016.  

He decried “a mentality where everyone is for himself or herself and cares only for those who are friends, family or from the same tribe, region, religion or political party which seems to have developed and overtaken us so much so that we are subordinating the culture of the common good to selfish interests, making the so called “outsiders” matter very little.”

“Our traditional, religious and especially political leaders should discourage this mentality and should not see themselves as a privileged people whose access to the nation’s resources permits them to recklessly dispense of our patrimony under their custody and to be served by their other fellow Nigerians to whom they should be accountable. This is what has triggered the feeling, in certain quarters, of being neglected, abandoned or marginalized which has paved the way for violent crimes and hostility. ”, he stressed.

The Prelate called on all Catholics to go on quietly working for and with the poor, as they feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoners, the sick, etc as the corporal works of mercy enjoin us. Every parish is enjoined to set aside some amounts every week to empower the St. Vincent de Paul Society or the Parish Justice Development and Peace Commission to reach out to the poor not necessarily in very big economic terms but in simple but loving ways.

Grace Ameh

Communications Unit

Aid to the Church in Need (Malta)