The Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, has said that priests in Benue State may be forced to pick up arms and defend themselves against being killed by rampaging herdsmen.
He noted that the security agencies have been watching as herdsmen slaughter innocent citizens of the country even in their worship places.
The Bishop maintained that living in peace was less expensive than going to war, but insisted that the people would not continue to fold their hands and die on a daily basis.
Speaking with the Sun, he advised President Muhammadu Buhari to shelve the idea of returning to power in 2019.
According to him, “They have not done so. That is not our way and I don’t think they will. And I am hoping that we have not reached that stage yet. But you could reach that stage.
“Yesterday, they killed us, the next day, they killed us, the policemen are around and they have done nothing. And the police are given guns and they don’t use them.
“The Army comes and moves around and nothing happens. They are not going to wait for me to tell them what to do. They don’t want that to continue and all we have been telling government is please, don’t push people too far.
“It is not possible to tell us that Nigeria is unable to secure our territory. We cannot believe it, to tell us that it is beyond the possibility of the police; that the whole Nigerian Army with the billion naira and the billion dollars budgets that we are spending; they still can’t keep us safe.
“And they want me to believe that? We can’t believe it, which is why we are saying no, there is something seriously wrong which must be addressed quickly because at the end of the day, everybody is going to suffer.
“As you know, most of us, at least, are pleading that we live in peace with one another because living in peace is less expensive than going to war. Also, when you go to war, who wins?
“Whoever is stronger wins, not who is right. The Pope used to say that we must replace the right of force with the force of right. That is where we are now. Don’t forget that somebody (Gen. TY Danjuma) who ought to know did make a statement about get ready to defend yourselves.
“And he should know what he is talking about. And he clearly accused government of collusion. That is serious.
“For various reasons, personally, if he (Buhari) came to me for advice, I will tell him it is time for retirement.”