John Onaiyekan, cardinal of the Abuja Catholic diocese, says Nigeria is in a state of emergency.
Onaiyekan said this on Tuesday while speaking on the incessant killings in various parts of the country.
This year alone, hundreds have been killed in crisis situations such as attacks by suspected herdsmen, clashes involving the herders and farmers as well as armed robbery.
Speaking during the burial of two priests and some worshippers killed in Benue state, Onaiyekan called on Nigerians to rise above religious, political and ethnic divides to save the country from drifting into anarchy.
He described the death of the priests and the others as a “horrific massacre which will not be forgotten for a long time”.
He also called on well-meaning Nigerians to unite in fighting perpetrators of acts of violence.
Onaiyekan, however, warned that the killings “must not be politicised”.
“The nation is in a state of emergency. We demand for synergy; division, especially on tribal lines will only throw our nation to anarchy,” he said.
He called on the federal government to act decisively to end the spate of killings across the country, and also on the people to be vigilant and be their “brother’s keeper”.
The bishop said if the killings continue, it will come to a time when people will begin to use other means of self defense.
He also warned against reprisals and said the souls of the righteous were in the hands of God.
“This is our hope which is based on our trust in God,” the cardinal said.