AFRICA/NIGERIA - The Bishops: "60 years after Nigeria's independence we must rebuild the Country on a fairer foundation"
Thursday, 1 October 2020
Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "Nigerians from almost all geographic regions seem to agree that we must start working to rebuild the Country. It is somewhat regrettable that the federal government of Nigeria has not kept its election promises. State governors, senators, members of the Federal House of Representatives must all work to ensure the restructuring of Nigeria. Nigeria is almost on the verge of total collapse", notes with bitterness His Exc. Mgr. Augustine O. Akubeze, Archbishop of Benin City and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria in a statement for the 60th anniversary of the independence of the Nigerian Federation from the United Kingdom. In the statement, the Catholic Bishops note that the unemployment rate is growing and there does not seem to be a precise plan to straighten the economy and "help the private sector to grow so that many of our young people can be employed".
The voice of Bishop Akubeze is joined by that of the Bishop of Oyo. His Exc. Mgr. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, who in his message on the occasion of independence day states that Nigerians still have to fight for independence, because "Nigeria still lacks authentic independence". "After sixty years, the independence of Nigeria is still a mirage, a mere mental construct, made even more unattainable by the multiplicity of problems that afflict the Country. "The independence invoked by the Bishop of Oyo is that "by thieving leaders and politicians, public officials and corrupt trade unionists, bloodthirsty terrorists and tribalists, economic mercenaries and religious bigots and all sorts of social disbelievers who try to take their share of the national resource at any price".
"We must all fight for a moral and ethical regeneration in families, in society and in the Country. We must all stand up to injustice and theft wherever they are and fight for the rule of law, applied equally to all. We must all do everything possible to support each other in charity and solidarity to alleviate the suffering of our compatriots. We must remind our leaders that the power of the people will always outlive the people in power", urges Bishop Badejo.
The Bishop concludes by recalling that "prayer works miracles. We must continue to raise our voice to God in prayer. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has asked to end the 40-day national prayer program on 1 October. We believe it worked for our Country. God is answering our prayer. It is up to us to recognize the opportunities it offers us and take them to our advantage". (L.M.) (FULL TEXT Release; Agenzia Fides, 1/10/2020)