Nigeria killings reverberates around Africans in Canada

Nigeria killings reverberates around Africans in Canada

Nigeria killings reverberates around Africans in Canada

“If they kill people in Africa, they kill us. When there’s no security, there’s no security for our friends, our relatives, our families. We cannot support living in a world now that is still on fire. We don’t get that. We never get that.”

With over 150 people dead, up to 120 injured and more than 80 abducted in just a week in Nigeria, members of the African community in Canada have been left shaking their heads and asking unanswered questions.

On Sunday, over 50 people were killed in Owo; 16 people on Monday in Adamawa, 8 people on Tuesday in Imo, 32 people on Wednesday in Kaduna and 28 people on Friday in Borno

Nigeria is experiencing a dramatic upsurge in everyday violence, including abductions, religiously motivated attacks and assaults by armed gangs. Authorities are failing to contain the chaos, risking the future of Africa’s powerhouse and instability in the region.

Even if the African Canadians who gather in Churches and community events across Canada come from over a dozen different countries, the situation in Nigeria touches the hearts of everyone within the community.

Last week, after over 50 people were massacred in a Catholic church in northwestern Nigeria, the African Catholic community in Canada’s pastoral council chair Cleopas Leke said “The concern is about all Africans, all Africa. The security African immigrants feel in Canada is always shadowed by the insecurity they left behind”

Leke continued: “We have family living there. We have brothers living there. All our soul is there. “If they kill people in Africa, they kill us. When there’s no security, there’s no security for our friends, our relatives, our families. We cannot support living in a world now that is still on fire. We don’t get that. We never get that.”

Although the community that Fr. Alex Osei, national director of the Pontifical Society of St. Peter the Apostle in Toronto, pastors at St. Andrew’s Church in Etobicoke is mainly Congolese, the attack in Nigeria still hits close to home for African Catholics from all over the continent.

“As an African, when you hear, especially as Christians, that this is happening — a shooting in a church during Mass — everybody is worried and talking about it,” Osei said.

Africans in Canada and in the diaspora are increasingly voicing their concerns with the worsening situation in Nigeria, as well as offering support and advice.

In the wake of the recent killings, Amb. Susan Waya has called on security agents to urgently deploy measures that will check perpetrators and collaborators of evil enterprise in the country.

Waya said that the security agents should be proactive with a view to arresting and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

“Our attention has been drawn to the senseless, unwarranted and unprovoked massacre by agents of darkness at the St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, last Sunday.

“On behalf of Nigerians in Diaspora, I express our disgust and condemnation and to state further that we are highly disturbed and piqued by the senseless killing of innocent people who came purposely to worship God but met their untimely death in such a tragic circumstance.

In the same light, the Nigeria Diaspora Network (NDN) has called on the Nigerian government to tap from the wealth of experience of Nigerians living abroad to tackle security challenges.

NDN’s Deputy Director of Finance, Mrs Vivian Iwuji, said the group was working to see how some of their members who are in security sector in developed nations could come together and synergise with the security agencies in Nigeria on advocacy programme, intelligence gathering and other areas to confront the security challenges facing the country.

“We are searching for the best hands in the area of security all over the world to have a meeting point. We are working in synergy with Nigerians, foreign citizens who are in the security sector abroad on how to bring this into fruition.

“For instance, we are trying to link up with the Nigerian woman, Olufunmilola Obe, who is the first African-American to become a police inspector in the New York Police Department (NYPD).

“Like this lady, nothing stops Nigeria from tapping her expertise as part of an effort to solve our problem. “We are looking at these experts, those who have retired from the army, police in Canada, America, Europe, Australia, anywhere in the world, on how to bring them to Nigeria to come and interface with the inspector-general of police, chief of defence staff, minister of defence, etc, because the country needs help in terms of security.”

Other Africans in Canada are equally standing in solidarity with Nigerians in condemning the spate of violence, while urging Nigerians and other citizens in the country to be security conscious.

The hope is that the Nigerian government and security forces will find a lasting solution to the security challenges sooner rather later.

Afrotimes Newspaper




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here