Some Bishops under the aegis of the Catholic Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province have called out the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for leadership failure.
The Bishops in their submission, said the Buhari-led government has plunged the country into a lot of problems by its selective style of justice.
They blamed the current administration for deepening ethnic and religious divides among Nigerians.
The Bishops from Ibadan Archdiocese, Ilorin, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti, and Osogbo Dioceses in a communiqué released after their meeting at the Domus Pacis Pastoral Institute, Igoba, Akure, on Wednesday said the federal government has failed in securing the lives and property of citizens but is going all out to hound perceived enemies.
According to the communiqué which was made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, the state Ekiti state capital on Wednesday by the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti, Most Rev Felix Ajakaye, and signed by the province chairman, Most Rev Gabriel Abegunrin, and the secretary, Most Rev Akin Oyejola, Nigeria needs urgent revival as the spate of insecurity, economic downturn, and sufferings must not be allowed to continue.
The communiqué reads, ”Nigeria, our country, seems to have lost its very soul because it is no longer a healthy entity. The good health of any nation consists in its capacity to offer its citizens a territory where they can feel at home, feel secure and enjoy the basic necessities of life.
”This, unfortunately, is no longer the case in our dear country, Nigeria, where, armed conflicts, armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom, insurgency, banditry, and extrajudicial killing persist as the order of the day. When a nation loses its soul, its people lose the cohesive elements of human relationships. A nation that has lost its soul is characterized by inept, uncaring leadership which functions by selective allocation of posts, privileges, and resources and by selective application of justice. It is characterised by leaders who, rather than care for the citizens of the country, simply exploit and denigrate them.“
The Bishops also submitted the submissions of Bishop Mathew Kukah in his testimony before the United States Congress where he noted that Christians are under persecution.
”Bishop Kukah, in his patriotic and frank presentation called attention to some verifiable data and statistics about the Nigerian situation on that privileged international platform. He spoke for authentic Christians and Muslims who are under persecution. No doubt, he intended to solicit the support of that forum which many Nigerians believe holds the promise of some assistance and relief from our current national crises.
”The Federal Government however has characteristically gone up in arms against the person of Bishop Kukah and his purpose. It is commonly said that when there is a problem in a democracy, more democracy is needed to solve it. Sadly enough, our current federal government does not seem to subscribe to this,” they said.
The clerics also accused the national assembly of attempts to gag the media through the press council bill, noting that such moves will be totally rejected by the citizens.
”We declare again, as we have done often in the past, that only the truth can set us free. Nigeria must allow this to happen! The attempt of the Nigerian National Assembly to silence the press and penalize journalists for merely doing their job is to be completely rejected. We hold that the freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, guaranteed by the constitution, and cannot be alienated by any government least of all in a democracy.
“For the sake of our democracy, that right, exercised with responsibility, must be protected. We support Bishop Kukah in his effort to unveil the truth about the Nigerian situation in order to ameliorate things. We call on the Nigerian government to learn not to see criticism as an attack or a crime,” they said.
The Bishops added: “With the national assembly at various occasions prioritizing party and privileges over people’s rights and interest, relief and progress continue to elude Nigerians. Simply put, those who claim to represent the people seem to have perfected the art of sabotaging the progress of their same people.
Indeed, the time may have come for Nigerians to no longer simply roll over and accept non-representative decisions of the assembly but to challenge them by all legitimate means.”
Source: Naija News