The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese in Enugu state has commiserated with the Muslim community over the destruction of the central mosque at Oguurute in Enugu Ezike.
The diocese said the attack on the mosque by suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is irresponsible and unfortunate.
Having paid a visit to the mosque and the Imam a day after the attack, the Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese Most Reverend Professor Godfrey Onah said the attack came to him as a shock.
Onah in a statement released on Wednesday, September 20, by the press secretary to the Bishop, Reverend Father Ernest Makata, said the Muslim community has been living in peace with its neighbours as brothers and sisters.
He said: “We have a handful of the Muslim community in Enugu Ezike, IbagwaAka and some other communities and never has it been known that any rancour existed between them and any other group. Hence, this unprecedented mindless destruction of a place of worship is not just abhorrent but totally unacceptable and should be condemned by all.Our Christian faith teaches us that we should love our neighbours as ourselves (Mk. 12:31).”
“Therefore, do unto others as you would have them do to you (Lk.6:31).None of us would like to witness this kind of carnage on our Churches or Shrines. In this wise, we cannot allow such to happen to a Mosque either.
“The Bishop hence appeals for caution from all individuals and groups and think about the actual and ripple effects of any action we undertake. Nsukka zone is known for her peaceful and harmonious existence.
“Therefore, no individual or group of persons should even think of destroying this legacy.The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Prof Godfrey Igwbuike Onah, while sympathizing with the Muslim community at Ogurute and the entire nation, assures them of the support of the Catholic Church in the diocese. He promises that the Church will do whatever is within her power to ensure that the Muslims and the Christians will continue to live in peace.”
The Bishop further enjoined Muslims to see the church as partners in these trying times and socio-political upheavals in Nigeria.
He also appealed to Muslim leaders to calm their adherents and view the incident as an act designed to instigate violence and disrupt the peace we have all enjoyed.
“If we respond to violence, we must have given them victory. The only way to make them feel ashamed of themselves is to plant love and good where they plant hate and evil.Let all Christians, Muslims and African Traditional Religionists join hands to maintain peace and order and hold on to the highest tenets of our religions which is hinged on love for one another,” he said.
It was earlier reported that the IPOB denied reports that some of its members were involved in the destruction and burning of mosques in Enugu.
The IPOB while stating that it is a non-violent group described the reports as concocted.
The pro-Biafra group in its statement said the Nigerian army’s is aimed at distracting the group from its focus of achieving Biafra