Restructure Nigeria now, Catholic Bishops urge Buhari.

By Ikenga Chronicles September 15, 2017

Restructure Nigeria now, Catholic Bishops urge Buhari.

–Callistus Agwaza, Jalingo

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria(CBCN) has urged the Presidency to urgently restructure Nigeria to a true federal system of government that enhances the welfare of all citizens as a panacea to the ongoing agitations across the country and to enhance the fight against corruption.

In a communiqué issued in Jalingo yesterday at the end of its second plenary meeting for 2017 held at the St. Charles Borromeo Pastoral Centre, Jalingo, Taraba state, and signed by Most Revds Ignatius Kaigama and William Avenya, who are the President and Secretary of the conference respectively, the Bishops decried the deployment of soldiers in the midst of already restive youths as it could further worsen the situation.

The Bishops noted that Nigeria was currently passing through a phase “that is marked by tension, agitations and general sense of hopelessness and dissatisfaction as a result of years of injustice, inequity, corruption, and impunity”, as is manifested in the “one-sidedness in appointments to key institutions and sensitive national offices, marginalization, and unfair distribution of resources and amenities and selective application of the rule of law”.

According to the Bishops, the inability of government to address the inequitable situation in the country has provided a breeding ground for violent reactions, protests and agitations, which exploit the grievances of different sections of the country, and urged the government to engage the aggrieved sections of the citizenry in a conversation worthy of a democracy, and to consciously remove everything that smacks of injustice in the system.

The Bishops regretted the continued wanton destruction of farmlands and crops, villages and lives caused by armed herdsmen in various parts of the country, resulting into killing, maiming, kidnapping, and raping of hapless citizens in their homelands, and demanded that adequate and prompt  actions should be taken and clearly seen to have been taken to stop their onslaught before the situation degenerates beyond what it is.

While commending the federal government for the modest success recorded in the ongoing fight against corruption, insurgency, releasing of some of the Chibok girls, and the gradual growth of the economy from recession, the Bishops demanded that economic policies and strategies should be put in place that would have direct positive impact on the ordinary people to reduce the extreme hardship in the country.

They further called for a drastic cut in the cost of governance from all the arms and levels of government as a sign of solidarity with most Nigerians who lack the basic necessities of life and now see education, feeding, clothing, shelter, healthcare and energy as unrealizable dreams.

The spiritual fathers who acknowledged the role of the social media in expanding  knowledge and advancing evangelization and social cohesion regretted that the youths especially, have  become “exposed to such negative dimensions of the social media as organs for crime, dissemination of hate speeches, slander, and peddling outright falsehood and misinformation” and appealed to the people to be more circumspect and positive in the use of information obtained from and disseminated through the modern media platforms.

They however insist that, irrespective of the system of government that is adopted and the policies put in place, “without a true conversion of heart by all and the readiness to make sacrifices for the common good, especially by persons in public offices, we shall only be reshuffling our problems without solving them and shifting the epicentres of our national tragedies.”

The CBCN, which is the episcopal body of all the Catholic Bishops in Nigeria, commenced its second plenary meeting in Jalingo diocese on the 7th of September where the new Papa Nuncio to Nigeria Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi was received, and  they held deliberation on key national issues and issues affecting the Church and offered prayers for the nation.