Pope Francis has extended his prayers to the victims of the recent attacks in Nigeria’s Plateau state. Speaking out on New Year’s Eve, the Pope’s message comes in the wake of a series of violent incidents that have shaken the region.
“May God free Nigeria from these horrors,” Pope Francis stated, urging global citizens to join in prayer for those affected by the “severe violence.” His call for divine intervention highlights the escalating situation in Plateau state, where over 150 people were tragically killed in attacks by gunmen on Christmas Eve.
According to local reports, these attacks, spanning across Bokkos and Barkin-Ladi LGAs, continued into Christmas Day, resulting in numerous houses being burned and properties looted in about 17 communities.
Alfred Alabo, the state police spokesperson, confirmed to TheCable that a week after the initial attacks, a kidnapping attempt in Durbi village, Jos East LGA, led to the deaths of three more persons, including a father and son. Alabo emphasized that this incident was not part of a new attack but a kidnapping attempt, a crime not uncommon in the country. He reassured the public that the police are actively investigating and expect to make arrests soon.
The Pope’s call for prayers also extended to the victims of a tanker truck explosion in Liberia, showing his concern for the broader region’s challenges.
In response to the Plateau violence, Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu condemned the attacks and instructed security forces to apprehend those responsible. However, there is growing concern about the pace of the investigations.
Adding to the international response, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has urged the Nigerian government to intensify efforts in delivering justice. This collective call for action reflects the global community’s concern over the escalating violence in the region and the urgent need for peace and stability.