By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Pope Francis has offered prayers for the victims of Christmas eve murder in Plateau State, North Central Nigeria, which he described as “horrors”.
At least 200 persons were killed in Bokkos and Biriki-Ladi Local Government Areas of the state by suspected herders, an unprovoked mass murder that attracted condemnation both locally and internationally.
“Let us pray together for the victims of the severe violence in Nigeria’s Plateau State. May God free Nigeria from these horrors!” the Argentine pontiff said Sunday in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
He also prayed for “people who suffer because of war: the martyred Ukrainian people, the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, the Sudanese people, the martyred Rohingya, and many others. May those with a stake in these conflicts listen to the voice of their conscience”.
The Christmas eve attack has led to increased deployment of security forces in the affected area to forestall recurrence.
President Bola Tinubu has been criticised for his failure to mention the attack during his new year day national broadcast, he instead highlighted the successful transfer of power after the controversial February 25, 2023 presidential election which he was the main beneficiary.
Opposition parties denounced the election as rigged by the electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in favour of All Progressives Congress (APC) which had Tinubu as the candidate.