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‘Be Sensitive To Nigeria’s Multi- Religious And Multi -Ethnic Make Up’ – Catholic Bishops Tell Buhari

The Oasis Reporters

September 17, 2017

Bishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, President Muhammadu Buhari

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari has not kept to the promise made by him to belong to everybody while being sworn into office on May 29, 2015, and in the last two years he has failed to demonstrate that statement in governance.

In a communique at the end of its meeting in Taraba state, the CBCN charged the federal government to be always sensitive to the multi-religious and multi-ethnic make up of Nigeria, lamenting that Buhari has not abided by his commitment to “national integration and cohesion” promised Nigerians in his inauguration speech.

It stated that the inability of the federal government to address the inequitable situation in the country has resulted in a breeding ground for violent reactions, protests, and agitations.

The bishops challenged the President to remove everything that smacks of injustice in his administration, and accord a sense of belonging to everybody and every part of Nigerian federation.

The communique signed by the CBCN President, Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, read in part, “In his inaugural speech as civilian president of Nigeria on 29 May 2015, the president sent out a message of hope and of his commitment to national integration and cohesion.

“He said: ‘Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians. I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody. A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores.’

“More than two years later, the reality on ground and the verdict of most of our people across the nation – irrespective of religious affiliation, ethnic group or social status – point to the contrary. The inability of the government to address the inequitable situation in the country has provided breeding ground for violent reactions, protests and agitations, which exploit the grievances of different segments of the country.

“We call on government at all levels to urgently address these anomalies, remove everything that smacks of injustice, and give everybody and every part of our country a sense of belonging.

“We insist that merit and ability should be the primary criteria in making appointments and genuine needs the criteria for the distribution of amenities. We also urge the government to be always sensitive to the multi-religious and multi-ethnic configuration of the nation.”

On the ongoing Operation Python Dance II in the South-East, the Catholic bishops warned that the deployment of soldiers could increase “the nervousness among the populace with the potential of igniting a fire that could turn into an uncontrollable conflagration”.

“On the other hand, we enjoin all aggrieved persons and groups to employ peaceful means within the framework of the existing laws of the land to express their grievances or even exercise legitimate pressure on the Government. Care must be taken by all to avoid actions and utterances capable of causing yet another armed conflict in the nation or any of its parts,” they said.

While calling on the government to tackle the menace posed by herdsmen, the CBCN commended the Buhari administration for successes recorded in the fight against corruption, curtailing activities of Boko Haram terrorists and securing the release of some of the Chibok girls.

The Catholic bishops regretted that some state governments in the North deny their dioceses their rights to own landed properties for mission work by refusing to issue them with certificates of occupancy.

Source : The Will

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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