Nigeria at 58: Religious Intolerance Bane of Nigeria’s Development – Bishop Ezeokafor

….Says No Religion is Bigger, Superior to Another

By Abuchi Onwumelu

As Nigerians mark her fifty eight (58) Independence Anniversary today Monday, 1st October, 2018, the Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has described religious intolerance as the bane of development in the country, noting that no religion is more powerful than the other, even as he urged Nigerians to persevere.

‘Just look at the killing and maiming of Christians in this country. Parish houses and Churches have been invaded. Catholic Priests have been killed. Properties destroyed. This is sad. Government must put a stop to these incessant killings in this country if they are actually sincere. This is exactly why the country keep moving backward. We must put an end to these mindless killings,’ he said.

Bishop Ezeokafor who stated this at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Neni, in Anaocha Local Government Area while carrying out his pastoral function exhorted Nigerians not to lose hope but to continue to pray for the country, noting that all hope was not lost.

The ecumenical Prelate said matters of inequalities and marginalisation of some areas of the country were real and should be addressed to assuage various agitations in the country, noting that most Nigerians were not happy.

His words, ‘As Nigeria marks her 58th independence anniversary, we need to build an egalitarian society devoid of marginalisation, religious fanaticism and inequality.

‘At 58 , the nation should be united and every section of the country should be given equal representation in the polity; no part of the nation should be an opportunity cost to the other,’ Bishop Ezeokafor said.

He said the issue of restructuring should not be treated with levity, adding that the voice of the people should be harken to on the matter.

‘Allow wisdom to prevail, because I think restructuring will guarantee devolution of powers to the states to enable them have authority over their own resources and development,’ he said.

The bishop admonished the Federal Government to allocate more resources to power, education and health.

He said this would better the lot of the masses while drawing attention of the Federal Government to the deplorable condition of federal roads in the southeast region and other parts of the country.

The Catholic prelate appealed for commencement of remedial works on the roads to save lives.