Silence is No Longer Golden in Nigeria -Bishop Anagbe

By Justine Dyikuk

The Catholic Bishop of Makurdi Diocese, Most Rev. Wilfred Anagbe has called for persistent and frank engagement of the political leadership of the country by the electorates on critical issues of governance, warning that fence-sitting, docility and sycophancy “at this defining moment” will never get Nigeria out of its current quagmire of insecurity and economic woes.

Speaking at a workshop for Catholic Professionals in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, Bishop Anagbe noted that “silence is no longer golden in Nigeria” since it has been misinterpreted as cowardice and ignorance by our political leaders.

Lamenting the worsening insecurity in the country, the bishop said it is high time Nigerians began to ask questions and demand sincere answers from those they have entrusted with public funds.

Describing as inestimable the contribution of the Church to the development the country, he wondered why its reservations about government policies are often mischievously labeled as hatred and badmouthing of political leaders.

“It is not the question of APC or PDP; it is a question of good governance instead. The Church stands for justice and truth. So, when we speak, it is to correct injustices. Those who think we hate President Buhari each time we complain about insecurity are getting it wrong. We don’t hate him.

“We are only reminding him of his campaign promises and the oath of office he took to protect Nigerians. When I complain about the killing of two of my priests and seventeen lay worshippers in Mbalom, is that hatred? When I complain about the displacement of parishes in my diocese, is that hatred? When we call for the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons, is that hatred?

” Administration is not faith, whatever you do as a leader will be there for the people to see and there will be no need for face-saving arguments.

“For me, I will keep on complaining because silence is no longer golden in Nigeria. This is what I am urging you all to do in your various chosen professions; to speak up against injustices regardless of who will be offended,” the bishop said.

He therefore called on President Buhari to step up efforts towards arresting the enduring, unbearable insecurity in the country which is threatening social, religious and economic activities of the people.