The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, has expressed its worry over the insecurity ravaging parts of the country, and have declared 40 days of joint prayers against terrorism and banditry under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch, .
The Bishops, in a statement issued in Abuja, on Tuesday, also decried the pervasive corruption in the land, and the nation’s dampening economic outlook.
They, therefore, passed a verdict, saying that the Federal Government has failed to keep its core campaign promises of security, corruption eradication, and economic growth.
The statement signed by the CBCN President, Archbishop Augustine Obiora, on behalf of all the Bishops, reads: “We, the members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, have been following the recent events in Nigeria, closely.
“We continue to hear of increasing insecurity and unabated acts of terrorism in Northern Nigeria. So, we are all tired of this situation.
“We do not want any Politician to politicise the killing of Nigerians. There should be one response from everyone, and that is, the killings must stop.
“Our hearts are bleeding, and we are more troubled when we hear of the massacre presently going on in Southern Kaduna. We want all the people suffering the incessant attacks in Southern Kaduna, to know that all Catholics in Nigeria are praying for them.
“We call on the Federal and the Government of Kaduna, to bring a complete stop to the killing of innocent people. The loss of the life of any Nigerian does not help to further the agenda of any religious ideology, or the ambition of any Politician.
“The perpetrators of the killings must be brought to justice. Where there is no justice, or justice is not seen to be done, there cannot be peace. Where there is no peace, there cannot be development.
“Any Government, State or Federal, that wants peace, must work for justice for everyone. There will never be sustained development built upon the bloodshed of innocent people brutally murdered by religious fundamentalists, without any recourse to justice for the victims.
“We need not remind Nigerians that the present Federal Government came to power, promising Nigerians the eradication of corruption, a guarantee of security to life and property, and rapid growth in the economy.
“The creation of jobs, and an enabling environment that engenders growth of the private sector; a significant increase in the supply of electricity to Nigerians, affordable and quality health care to Nigerians, and the revamping of the educational sector, were the promises the Government continues to make.
“Many Nigerians, irrespective of political party affiliation, will affirm that these promises have remained a far cry. We strongly appeal to Nigerians to unite together, in calling the Federal Government to give priority to these areas of our lives.
“To all Catholics, we request that you join in praying for forty days, starting from 22 August, 2020, and ending 30 September 2020, the eve of Nigeria’s Independence Day.
“On Independence Day, let us join in praying to start from 12noon. We appeal to each Bishop to encourage the faithful in his Diocese to participate fully in this prayer, for God to save Nigeria.
“Finally, as we pray, we know that God wants us to do what is humanly possible to ensure that there are prosperity and freedom for every Nigerian.
“Let us not harbour hatred for anyone. We must be instruments of forgiveness and reconciliation. We must be on the part of justice for all and peace in Nigeria.
“May God grant eternal rest to all who have lost their lives to the violence in Northern Nigeria and other parts of the country. May God give us the courage to work for justice and peace in Nigeria.”