. . . Urges Public Officers to Shun Greed
By Abuchi Onwumelu
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has advised politicians at all levels to sit up or be ready to face the wrath of hungry and angry Nigerians, expressing fears that what happened in Nuremberg, Germany, indicates that Nigerians are fed up with the current situation of things in the country.
Bishop Ezeokafor who stated this while delivering a homily at St. James Catholic Church, Neni, in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State during his maiden Pastoral Visit, stated that Germany’s experience would be a child’s play compared to what he said, was to come in the nearest future, if the current crop of political leaders failed to sit up and work for the collective interest of all Nigerians.
The outspoken prelate said that Nigerians had the right to protest against any perceived injustice, maladministration, misappropriation of public funds, poor representation, embezzlement and inhuman treatment, provided they were not armed.
Bishop Ezeokafor said there would be serious revolution and more beatings of greedy and insensitive politicians if nothing was done urgently to address the poor state of things in the country, saying that beating of bad leaders was long overdue.
‘Nigerians are hungry and angry. You cannot beat a child and stop him from crying. It is unacceptable. People have the right to protest, provided they are not armed.
‘It is done all over the world. Once something is not going on well, you reserve the right to speak up. People have the right to voice their grievance.
‘They have the right to express displeasure over certain matters. I think what the political class should do to douse the tension is to face governance and lawmaking squarely and work for the common good of the masses.
‘I see more and more greedy politicians being manhandled. Nigerians are dying on daily basis because of bad governance. No good roads, no healthcare, no a electricity, cost of living is so high. Yet, these people are busy siphoning our common patrimony,’ Bishop Ezeokafor stated.
Speaking on the state of the economy, the charismatic cleric accused President Muhammad Buhari of running the country aground, noting that the current spate of insecurity in the country had driven away local and foreign investors. He urged the president to respect the secular nature of the Nigerian State.
‘No religion is superior to another and none should be placed above another. Let everyone worship their God the way they want to worship. Conversion is not by force. It is by persuasion. Using force on people can only make them to see and perceive your religion as crude and violent. Any religion that preaches violence is not a good religion,’ Bishop Ezeokafor said.
He said that the killing of Nigerians and raping of women in their farmlands by suspected Fulani herdsmen had adversely affected the economy of the country, and accused Buhari of treating the Fulani herdsmen’s menace with kid gloves.
‘How can these people be going about terrorizing, killing, and maiming innocent and harmless Nigerians and at the end nothing is done to them? Do you expect Nigeria to move forward with this type of inhuman treatment? That’s not possible.
‘Human life means nothing to this government. Suspected Fulani herdsmen maim, kill and rape with reckless abandon. After the killings nothing happens. You see them move around gloating after committing all manner of atrocious acts. They are deemed to be untouchables. We all know where they are driving at,’ the bishop said.
He described Nigeria’s economy as being in shambles, noting that nothing was working in the midst of tensions everywhere.
Bishop Ezeokafor enjoined all to be humble and selfless, describing humility as a virtue.
The Cleric, during his visit, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to 85 deserving candidates and blessed and commissioned the belfry built by the parish.