Special prayers were offered in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital, for the victims of this year’s holy pilgrimage stampede which claimed the lives of over 747 Muslim worshippers in Saudi Arabia.
The prayers were offered at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church Damaturu during the Sunday Mass.
Leading the prayers, the parish priest of the church Reverend Father Joshua Haman said the sad incident require prayers for the souls of the victims and for speedy recovery of those who sustained various degrees of injuries in the unfortunate incidence.
He expressed sadness that the incidence claimed such a high number of worshippers who were performing one of their sacred religious rites but said “God Almighty knows best”
“The death toll keep rising considering the extent of the pandemonium but the Almighty God knows best and who are we to question his will. The priest questioned
Haman, who said the special prayer was approved to be conducted throughout Maiduguri Diocese by the Bishop, Most Reverend Dr Oliver Doeme Dashe prayed to Almighty God to grand their soul’s eternal rest and their families the courage to bear the loss.
“We are all equal before God and we have to respect the religion of others and to remember fellow human being at all times both in moments of trouble, sadness and joy despite the religious differences” Father Haman said.
The priest while admonishing the laity to imbibe “very strong religious tolerance at all times,” cautioned them to be upright in the use of the social media as a veritable instrument of preaching religious tolerance and peace in “our diverse society”
“We should be morally and religiously sound in the usage of the social media such as the Facebook, Tweeter, and WhatsApp among others instead of using it negatively to provoke believers of other religion” he said.
Haman also prayed for understanding among the various religion in the country particularly in the north east, insisting that the diverse religions in the country needs understanding among the faithfuls to curb the insurgency bedeviling the zone.