Nigerian Ecclesial Leaders Deplore Confrontations in Kano

Accuse Government of Inability to Halt Them

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ROME, OCT. 23, 2001 ( Christian leaders in Nigeria this week deplored the sectarian clashes occurring in the city of Kano and urged the federal government to put an end to the carnage.

The ANB agency quotes a statement by Archbishop Olubunmi Okogie of Lagos, condemning what he considers government inaction in the face of the Christian-Muslim confrontations.

«This attitude by the government gives the impression that either the government is incapable of effective action or that it is under some kind of pressure,» the archbishop said.

The war against terrorism is not a religious war, he said, but an attempt to make the world a safer place.

«It is time for the federal government to curb the excesses of misguided elements who spill blood in the name of religion,» the archbishop said.

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos condemned the clashes. He attributed ethnic conflicts in Nigeria to poverty, ignorance and the feeling of insecurity.

«When one tribe wishes to establish superiority over another, when one religion wants to dominate, when one clan wants to outdo others, the result is social unrest,» he said.

Dr. Sunday Mbang, chairman of the World Council of the Methodist Church, and chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, expressed worries at the number of deaths in the Kano riots, ANB reports.

Recently, John Paul II condemned the confrontations in Nigeria, lamenting that another «episode of cruel violence has been added to the tragic world situation of these days.»

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