BY TIMOTHY AGBOR
The Catholic Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province have called on elected officials in Nigeria to desist from giving excuses on the worsening insecurity and economic hardship confronting Nigerians.
According to the bishops, the ship of Nigeria is foundering and that the nation is in desperate need for restoration.
The bishops, in a communique issued by the province comprising Ibadan Archdiocese, Ilorin, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti and Osogbo Dioceses, after their first meeting for 2024 at the Jubilee Conference Centre, Ibadan between February 5 and 6, 2024, decried killings, different forms of insecurity and economic hardship and called on political leaders to do something fast and desist from giving excuses.
The clerics, in the communique entitled: “Nigeria: In Desperate Need for Restoration,” and signed by their Chairman, Most Rev ‘Leke Gabriel Abegunrin and Secretary, Most Rev John Akin Oyejola, said, “Any country run on corruption and falsehood will crumble under the weight of self-inflicted evil.”
The communique made available to News Boom Nigeria on Tuesday further read, “Our dear country Nigeria is fast becoming a hostile, killing field. The ship of the nation is foundering under the weight of pervasive insecurity, economic hardship due to hyperinflation and the collapse of the naira, cybercrime, high cost of food, lackadaisical governance and widespread corruption. Day-to-day living is fast becoming an ordeal for millions of Nigerians because pervasive poverty, driven by the harsh environment has driven many to desperation and even suicide.
“It would be nothing short of hypocritical to put all the misery being suffered by Nigerians today down to change in world economy. The truth is that often Nigerians are simply left to their own devices and left at the mercy of the most cruel and aggressive criminals by inept and selfish political and civil leaders. In all this, governments often seem weak or altogether absent. Any remedy now is even already too late for many Nigerians who have lost their lives to terrorists, hunger, kidnapping and sundry disasters. We plead for urgent action from all our leaders to save the Nigeria ship from sinking. The much-vaunted renewed hope is turning to utter desperation in many places and there is not much time left.”
Condemning the killings of traditional rulers in Ekiti State recently, the bishops stated, “We declare that the time to stop this spiralling violence and bloodshed is now, before it becomes irreversible, by repositioning our security agencies to make them more pre-emptive and proactive.”
They added, “We admonish majority of our leaders who talk and behave as if all is well to have a change of heart. There is cause for alarm when corruption runs riot in every sector with scant effort from government to arrest and prosecute its perpetrators. Things are not under control when continuously, Nigerians get maimed, kidnapped and killed daily on our roads and even in their homes.”
Preferring solutions, the bishops said, “There is need to restructure our security apparatus and remove saboteurs where necessary so that they can collaborate and perform optimally. Disaster is imminent when people die of hunger and the living have to steal or scrounge for food in order to survive. Elected officers are elected not to make excuses about problems but to change things for better. Away with insensitive aides who furnish the public with lies and inuendoes in order to mitigate government failure in the face of the recurring disasters.
Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province
“Nigerians deserve to know the truth about their leaders’ programmes, activities and whereabouts. Any country run on corruption and falsehood will crumble under the weight of self-inflicted evil. Time for positive change is running out. “Uprightness makes a nation great, by sin whole races are disgraced”. (Proverbs 14:34).”