11.03.10 18:10 Age: 2 yrs

WCC calls for security for all citizens of Nigeria


The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, expressed "grief and shock" over the recent violence in Nigeria where officials say several hundred people were killed in villages near the city of Jos, in the Central Plateau State, during the past weekend.


In a letter written and being sent on behalf of the member churches of the WCC to the acting President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan, Tveit urged the president to "bring to justice the perpetrators of these massacres". He also requested "that immediate action be taken to ensure the protection and security of every individual in Nigeria."


In the letter Tveit said the "ongoing conflicts and violence in several parts of Nigeria demonstrate that these unfortunate events are exacerbated due to various factors such as economic disparities, under-development, ethnic rivalries and struggle to control political power."


He also pointed to challenges within the Nigerian constitution that classify citizens as "indigenes" and "settlers" further intensifying conflicts which can result in Nigerians losing "their sense of belonging and their spirit of communal harmony" and that allows them to live in peace.


In a message of solidarity to the churches in Nigeria, Tveit praised initiatives taken by Nigerian church leaders "together with other religious leaders to promote peace and reconciliation in conflict-affected areas", adding that "it is essential for us to demonstrate our faith and witness, to be ambassadors for peace and reconciliation in the true spirit of love for our neighbours, irrespective of their religious or ethnic identities."


Full text of the letter to the acting President of Nigeria


Full text of the letter to the churches in Nigeria


WCC member churches in Nigeria