The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has called on Catholic Politicians to make a difference in the Nigerian political sphere.
President of the CBCN and Archbishop of Benin-City, Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze made the call on Saturday, August 21, 2021 in an address during the Bishops’ interaction with Catholic politicians of the Province of Onitsha in Enugu at the ongoing CBCN second plenary.
Archbishop Akubeze stated that the main reason for the meeting is that the Catholic bishops in Nigeria recognize and believe the fact that Catholic Politicians can make a difference in the Nigerian political sphere. “We strongly believe that if you allow a well-formed conscience guided by Catholic Social Teachings to lead you in decision making, you will put Nigeria on a progressive pathway to development and eradication of corruption.”
He said the Church on her part must create more opportunities for robust interaction with Catholic politicians in order to know some of their challenges and pray for their success.
The CBCN President noted that although politics is often called a dirty profession, there is nothing intrinsically dirty about politics. “We are the ones that make it dirty. Nigerians are looking up to the political class to work for the good of everyone.”
The Archbishop identified one of the challenges Nigeria is having as inability to get our electioneering process right. “Once the system is set up in such a way that the votes of the people truly determine who leads us, then our political class will know that they are hired and paid for by those who voted for them.”
He therefore called on the Catholic politicians to lead in the area of electoral reforms and the education of the people, stressing that the apathy towards election is because people have lost trust in the system.
“To you our respected Catholic Politicians, we have not called you here to lecture you, but to let you know that you have great resources on how to form your consciences in order to be good Catholic politicians. The Social Teaching of the Church provides you with materials on engagement in politics.”
He disclosed that Catholic Theological Association of Nigeria has produced a handbook to guide Catholic politicians and therefore urged the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria to make a copy available to all Catholic politicians.
“From the Catholic Social Teaching, we discover ways to resolve many of our conflicts. The document deals with the common good for the entire people; rights of states or nations, rights of individuals to private ownership of goods, obligations of a nation towards the poor and equitable sharing of responsibility and rights.”
The CBCN President remarked that a good reading of the document will help to shape the mind of the Catholic politicians to make the right decision on the current debate on the constitutional restructuring of Nigeria. “A restructuring that eradicates corruption, rewards merit, makes everyone equal stakeholders in the nation and offers equal opportunities for development across the nation.”, Archbishop Akubeze stated.
(SOURCE: CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE OF NIGERIA)