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Lagos govt, Christians, Muslims seek improved security



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The Lagos State Government, the Christian and Muslim religions in the state have called for improved security of lives and property in Nigeria.

They made the called on Tuesday in Lagos during the visit to the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Martin and the Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Kanu-Uche.

The visit was to commiserate with the Catholic Archbishop over the killings of parishioners of Saint Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, and to rejoice with the Methodist Prelate on his safe return from abduction.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, said that the massacre of worshippers at Owo by gunmen was unfortunate and had thrown the Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC), Lagos State Chapter, into mourning.

Elegushi commiserated with the entire Christian body and indeed, the Catholic Mission in Lagos State and Nigeria, on the unfortunate incident.

”We pray that the Almighty God grant the families of the deceased the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss and eternal rest to the departed faithfuls whose lives were cut short in His sanctuary.

”It is rather unfortunate, but we are comforted in the word of God which admonishes us to give thanks in all things and situations. Moreover, the Holy Book admonishes us to leave vengeance for God.

”The Lagos State Government on its part will continue to work together with NIREC for continued religious peace and harmony in the state. We will also ensure security of lives and property of residents,” he said.

The commissioner said that the government would continue to support all religious institutions, and prayed for God’s guidance at all times and repentant heart of the perpetrators.

While on visit to the Prelate of Methodist Church, Nigeria, Elegushi said that the visit was to rejoice with Prelate Kanu-Uche on his safe return from abduction.

He said the Lagos State Government and the entire Muslim Community join the brethren in thanking God for saving the Prelate’s life, that of the Bishop of Owerri Diocese and the Prelate’s Chaplain from the hands of abductors in Abia State, after going through a harrowing experience.

”The entire body of Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC), Lagos State Chapter is still basking in the euphoria of your safe release from the hands of these unscrupulous elements, who never meant well for this nation and has no respect for humanity.

”We pray Almighty God will continue to keep you under His secret pavilion and build His edge of fire around you always,” Elegushi said.

Reacting, Most Rev. Martin said that he had been in constant discussion with the Bishop of Ondo, hence, would relate the condolence of the Lagos State Government to him.

He said that even in war situations, the places of worship are sacred and not tampered, hence, such massacre in Owo by the gunmen should not had happened, as the country was not even in a physical war.

According to him, there is probably something much more than religion that is the problem, which such be identified and dealt with.

Archbishop Martin called on those responsibility for security to do more in securing lives and property.

Also responding, Prelate Kanu-Uche said that from what he experienced from the abduction, there was the need for the Federal Government to take security of lives and property seriously.

He said that the criminals infiltrated the country through those that sold cows, and began to carry guns.

According to him, what is happening in Nigeria is not a matter of religion, but a matter of criminality, and criminals don’t know religion.

He commended the Lagos State Government for the harmonious relationship it had been fostering between the Christian and Muslim communities.

The Grand Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheik Suleiman Abou-Nola, called on the government to fulfil its responsibility of securing life and property of Nigerians.

Abou-Nola prayed that Allah would give the families of the victms the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

He urged all to continue to preach religious tolerance, peaceful coexistence, and that Allah should continue to give the nation peace, tranquility and harmony.

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