. . . Says it is Duty of Govt to Cater for Poor
By Abuchi Onwumelu
The Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has blamed corruption for the inability of government at all levels to make provisions for the less privileged.
Bishop Ezeokafor stated this at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Awka while donating relief materials, including food items and clothing, as well as cash gifts to over 500 less privileged persons in the state.
He explained that it was the responsibility of the government to cater for the poor and the needy in society and would only be failing if those provisions were not made.
The Catholic Prelate said he was among those who believed that God blessed Nigeria with lots of natural and material resources and if well harnessed would be more than enough to cater for the less privileged.
He regretted that while some developed countries made provisions for the poor, the reverse was the case in Nigeria.
According to him, the cost of running the government in the country had become very expensive. He noted that if those things were cut down, there would be enough to take care of the people.
‘Government must do something, otherwise they will be failing in their responsibility and if they are, with regard to these poor people, I wonder what they will tell God at the end of the day,’ he added.
The Catholic prelate explained that the gesture was not predicated on religious sentiments, stressing that religious beliefs were of no consequence while showing charity.
His words, ‘Today’s act of love is special. We call it Easter Celebration with the poor. Any human being that is poor is poor and should be catered for, irrespective of his religious affiliations. We’re doing this for humanity and not for religious sentiments.
‘God has commanded us to show charity and that’s exactly what we’re doing. As a pastor, people give to us and from what they give to us we share with others.
‘It makes us participate in their poverty just as we’re participating in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You can see from their faces that they are happy and I wish they will be happier.
‘We pray that other privileged persons in society will see the need to also do something to ameliorate the suffering of the poor and needy.