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The Chairman of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, on Monday urged the people of Benue to unite in the face of the security challenges in the state.

Kaigama made the call at a memorial mass for the 73 victims allegedly killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

The mass was organised by the four Catholic Dioceses of Makurdi, Gboko, Otukpo and Katsina-Ala.

Kaigama said the people needed to unite and form a common front devoid of political, religious and traditional sentiments to tackle the security challenges in the state.

The cleric also promised to make a case on the plight of Benue people to CBCN for consideration.

In his sermon, Bishop William Avenya of Gboko Diocese said that the site where the 73 victims were buried would be turned into a pilgrimage centre as well as a monument of prayer.

Avenya said that the deceased would be immortalised so that they would be remembered for centuries to come.

The cleric also urged the people not to lose hope, stressing that God would never forsake them.

He called on security agencies to hunt down and prosecute the killers, adding that justice must be given to Benue people.

The bishop, however, warned the people against posting provocative statements on the social media to heighten tension.

Governor Samuel Ortom expressed appreciation to the Catholic Church for organising the memorial mass for the victims of the killings.

Ortom also commended the church for standing for justice and the oppressed, promising that his government would continue to listen and act on its advice.

He further vowed that he would not relent in carrying out the wishes of the electorate as long as they were constitutional.

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