The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has expressed concern over the state of insecurity in the country and concluded that “living in Nigeria is very precarious.”
The organization also regretted that many parts of Nigeria were still in disarray and the country badly divided, as evidenced in “appointments to positions of national importance, sharing of resources, and distribution of social amenities.”
The President of CBCN, Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubueze and Secretary, Rev. Camillus Raymond Umoh, made these observations in a communique entitled:
“Moving beyond precarious living in Nigeria”, issued at the end of its second plenary meeting held at the Divine Mercy Pastoral Centre, Agbamaya, Obada-Oko, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The CBCN said Nigerian democracy was derailing from what it should be as “qualities of accountability, transparency, independence of the judiciary, respect for fundamental rights, observance of the rule of law, and fair and credible electoral process, to mention only these, are still lacking.”
The Catholic Bishops said, “There are, unfortunately, still many instances of killings as a result of banditry, kidnapping, assassination, armed robbery, reckless use of force by security agencies and lynching.
Lately, too, there is an upsurge in the cases of suicide, even among our youths. “Furthermore, the clashes between herdsmen and communities, and the activities of Boko Haram insurgents have continued, in which many innocent people lose their lives.
These make living in Nigeria very precarious. “We recognize the efforts being made by the government to fight insecurity in the land.
However, we emphasize that a lot more still needs to be done in this regard. We pray for the peaceful repose of the victims and sympathize with the bereaved families.
We continue to urge the government and security agencies to do all they can to secure the immediate release of Leah Sharibu, the remaining Chibok girls and all the other persons still in captivity.
“We reiterate that without adequate security of lives and property, there can be no stability and enabling an environment for meaningful development.
We observe that the Federal Government, in which the power to control the major security agencies is vested, is overwhelmed.
There is, therefore, need for proper decentralization of these agencies for effective results.”
The CBCN also called on governments at all levels to provide the enabling environment that would make it possible for both the government and the private sector to create job opportunities to minimize the menace of insecurity in the country.
The Catholic Bishops said God had made it possible for the continuous existence of Nigeria as a sovereign nation but however said much effort was required from both government and citizens order to have a nation in which everyone and every part, irrespective of differences of tribe or religion or political affiliation, will have a sense of belonging.
The communique said, “We note with dismay that many months after the general elections, many parts of our nation are still in disarray. The country is badly divided.
This is evident in appointments to positions of national importance, sharing of resources, and distribution of social amenities.
“We urge especially the Federal Government, to ensure that it does not allow ethnic or religious hegemony to prevail in our multi-religious and secular state. “No one religion should be favored over another.
There should be fairness, justice and neutrality in relation to all religions and ethnic groups, for where there is no justice, there can be no peace, unity and development.
We, therefore, enjoin all Nigerians to see themselves as one united people and work for justice in order to ensure a peaceful and united nation.”