BY SUNNY A. IJOMAH
Amid the many challenges which have been confronting Nigeria due to bad governance at all levels, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), has commended Nigerians for their patience in the situation.
According to the Conference, Nigerians have been facing difficulties due to the repeated government failure to meet the minimum requirement of governance.
The President of CBCN, Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze gave the commendation in his address at the opening ceremony of the just concluded Second Plenary of the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria which was held in Enugu.
Most Rev Akubueze, who is also the Catholic Archbishop of Benin-City noted that Nigerians had been affected by high level of inflation, depreciation of the naira, increased poverty, shortage of food because of herders/farmers crisis, insecurity to life and property, marginalization, insensitivity and lack of Federal Government response to the cries of the people in the areas of economic hardship.
He said the call for constitutional reforms that would respect the rights of every Nigerian, and provide opportunities for equal access to the resources of Nigeria was something that should be debated fairly.
‘The right to self-determination should follow a civilized pattern and should not be demonized. The Church believes that the Government must avoid criminalizing those who disagree with them,’ the address read.
The CBCN President noted with dismay that the Federal Government has changed the service chiefs after many Nigerians cried out repeatedly for change, but the change was yet to produce the desired result.
Archbishop Akubueze added, ‘The level of insecurity in every part of the country is of great concern to us Catholic bishops. Many of us bishops have had to bury our faithful who died due to attacks by insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and cultists as well as those who died because of road accidents caused by bad roads’.
The CBCN President charged the government at all levels to rise up to their responsibilities so as to prevent the too many preventable death which he said, had taken the lives of many Nigerians.
He however encouraged all the citizens to pray and hope for a better Nigeria which according to him was not predicated upon the economic or human analysis of the present situation. According to him, there was need for hope in God, as the human strength alone would not get the country out of the current terrible situation.
The bishop stated his hope that no matter how bad the situation in Nigeria was, the country was still redeemable.