DESPITE several challenges confronting Nigeria due to bad leadership at all levels of government, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on Sunday, commended Nigerians for their patience in what the Conference described as repeated government failure to meet the minimum requirement of the government.
President of the CBCN, Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze gave the commendation in an address at the opening ceremony of the ongoing second plenary of the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria in Enugu.
The Archbishop of Benin-City noted that Nigerians are bearing a high level of inflation, depreciation of the naira, increased poverty, shortage of food because of herders/farmers crisis, insecurity to life and property, insensitivity and lack of Federal Government response to the cries of many Nigerians in the area of economic revolution, structural development, through eradication of corruption, avoidance of selective sectional appointments to important Federal positions.
He said the call for constitutional reforms that respect the rights of every Nigerian, and provide opportunities for equal access to the resources of Nigeria is something that should be debated fairly.
“The right to self-determination should follow a civilized pattern and should not be demonized. The Church believes that the Government must avoid criminalizing those who disagree with them.”
The CBCN President noted with dismay that the Federal Government has changed the service chiefs after many Nigerians have cried out loudly for change but the change is yet to produce the desired effect.
“The level of insecurity in every part of the country is of great concern to us Bishops. Many of us Bishops have had to bury our faithful who died because of attacks of insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, cultists, and those who have died because of road accidents caused by bad roads.
“Too many Nigerians are dying of preventable deaths, the Federal Government, State Government, and Local Government must rise to their responsibility.”
The Archbishop, however prayed and encouraged all the citizens to hope for a better Nigeria. “This hope is not predicated upon the economic or human analysis of our present situation. If we rely on our human strength alone to get us out of the terrible situation we are in now, we will certainly not come out of it. I, therefore, want us to pick up the second theological virtue, which is Hope in God.”
“To everyone who has come here today, I want you to be hopeful of a better tomorrow. Without hope, we cannot move forward. Wake up every day with joy, peace, and serenity knowing that you are loved by God who always fulfils his promises.
“No matter the situation you may find yourself, you are still redeemable. No matter how bad Nigeria is right now, we are still redeemable.”
BY SUNNY A. DAVID