Catholic Church organises special peace prayers in Taraba.
Christiana Babayo, Jalingo
As insecurity continues to ravage the country, not leaving Taraba State behind, the Catholic Diocese of Jalingo has organised a special prayer and enlightenment session to seek God’s intervention on the matter.
The Prayer and enlightenment sessions focused more on the parts of the state that are mostly affected by the continuous crisis.
In an interaction with journalists at the Cathedral, the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese, Bishop Charles M. Hammawa said the session was organised for believers to cry to God for peace as well as enjoin the people to live up to the expectations of Christianity that teaches us to love one another.
While lamenting the ugly scenario, the Bishop said, “the crisis in the state especially in the Southern part of Taraba and Gembu that have resulted in the death of thousands and destructions to property beyond what one can imagine is simply unnecessary.
“As a Church and the body of Christ, it is our duty to call on God for His intervention. But it is equally very important for us to talk to the people. Wukari and Takum have been terribly hit by the crisis just as Gembu in Sardauna local government area. And so we decided to organize these sessions in these three locations for a start.
He continued to say, “What we are doing is to also use the prayer sessions to talk to the people. It is not enough to just give sermons during Sunday and weekday Masses. Bringing the people together like this affords us the opportunity to really talk to them and appeal to them for a change of attitude.
“We must begin to have more regards for the sanctity of life and desist from any tendencies to destroy life. As a Church, we are probably the worst hit by this crisis. Apart from losing thousands of our members in these areas, so many of our parishes have been attacked, looted and destroyed. You are aware that one of my Priests was also gruesomely murdered.
“As we speak, there is the looming food crisis because people were displaced and could not carry out their farming activities. Even as we speak, we still have pockets of attacks here and there such that people are even afraid of going to their farms. So it is a major issue. Our message is clear, if you are a Christian, you must be able to live up to that title. You must be an ambassador of peace at all times.
Bishop Hammawa also explained that the exercise is part of their work as Missionaries and they would continue to do it at all costs.
“We must not relent. Angels don’t come from heaven to fight. It is the people themselves who sit down, plan and carry out these attacks and so we must begin to talk to them seriously for a change of heart.
The Bishop advised that it is not enough to drag security to these places, stressing that what really matters is the attitude of the people and that is why the special prayer and enlightenment session became very pertinent.