Pope Francis Prays for Nigeria at “Urbi et Orbi” Address
Written by Johnstone Kpilaakaa on April 4, 2021
The global leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis prayed for Nigeria and other parts of Africa affected by Insecurity and other crises during the Easter “Urbi et Orbi” address at the Chair of Saint Peter in the Vatican City on Sunday.
Urbi et Orbi (‘to the city [of Rome] and to the world’) denotes a papal address and apostolic blessing given by the pope on certain solemn occasions including Easter, Christmas and after the election of a Pope.
His prayer is coming few days after a Catholic priest, Father Ferdinand Fanen Nguban, and at least three other people were killed in an attack at a Catholic parish in Benue State.
Sources say that the priest had just finished celebrating the morning Mass and was within the church premises when the unknown assailants shot at him.
The Vicar of Christ have even before decried the level of insecurity in Nigeria, calling on Nigerian leaders to act fast so as to ensure peace.
In his message, Pope Francis also prayed for Iraq, Jerusalem and other nations affected by war.
The tragic killing of Fr. Nguban adds to the long list of instances of rising insecurity in Nigeria. This latest attack comes just a few days after the release of another priest, Fr. Harrison Egwuenu of the Diocese of Warri, who was kidnapped by gunmen on 15 March.
Nigeria’s challenges with insecurity, especially in the northern region, stem from multiple reasons, including overstretched and underequipped security forces. School abductions and kidnappings for ransom are sadly becoming a lucrative industry, while the nation still battles with attacks from the Boko Haram extremist group and other issues stemming from conflicts between the nomadic Fulani herdsmen and local indigenous peoples.