• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Catholic Bishops knock Tinubu, say Nigeria experiencing worst times

Catholic bishops call for Kanu’s release

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on Sunday condemned the recent reforms of the current administration, saying Nigeria is experiencing the worst times, especially in the areas of security and the economy during the administration of President Bola Tinubu.

“If we cast a cursory glance at the present state of our nation, we are inclined to conclude that this seems to be the worst of times for our country in the areas of security and the economy,” Lucius Ugorji, president, CBCN stated during the opening session of the 2024 First Plenary Assembly, held in Abuja
with the theme, “Synod on Synodality.”

The CBCN stated that despite the huge sums of money appropriated monthly as security votes, communities across Nigeria have continued to experience persistent insecurity.

“Recently, there has been an upsurge in kidnapping for ransom and increasing incidents of senseless bloodshed across the nation.

Unarmed citizens are brutally slaughtered on our highways, in their homes and even in the sacred precincts of places of worship. Killer herdsmen, bandits and unknown gunmen seem to be on rampage,” Ugorji stated.

According to the Conference, many communities across the nation have been taken over completely by criminals.

It stated further that families have lost their ancestral lands to armed invaders and land-grabbers. Accordingly, the CBCN said that social and economic lives of communities have been paralysed due to insecurity.

“Schools have been shut down, and children can no longer continue their education. Farmers are unable to access their farms out of fear of either losing their lives or being kidnapped.

“Businesses have closed down. Many displaced families have no sources of livelihood and are daily afflicted by hunger and starvation.”

Speaking further on the economic hardship across the country, Ugorji stated that the reform agenda of the present government has added to the plight of Nigerians.

“With the withdrawal of fuel subsidies and the unification of the foreign exchange market, there has been a sharp increase in the pump price of petroleum products and a steep decline in the value of the Naira. Indeed, there is a free fall of the national currency,” he stated.

Accordingly, the Conference posited that high spiralling inflation has made it difficult for the average Nigerian to access basic commodities, including food items and medication.

“As a result of the government’s reform agenda, millions of Nigerians have been reduced to a life of grinding poverty, wanton suffering, and untold hardship as never before in our national history.

“In a bid to survive, an increasing number of the poor have resorted to begging,” the Conference noted.

It also stated that with more than 80 million Nigerians living under the poverty line of less than two dollars a day, our country, according to the recent disclosure of the World Bank, is the world’s second-largest poor population after India.

“While many impoverished Nigerians continue to suffer and die as a result of the hardship caused by the government’s economic reforms, the president has continued to urge the populace to make even more and more sacrifices with the assurance that brighter days lay ahead.”

According to the Conference, the government has failed in living up to its promised of renewed hope. The CBCN stated that as the government demands additional sacrifice from the struggling masses, one would expect to see a drastic cut in the cost of running the government at all levels.

“On the contrary, it is worrisome to watch top government functionaries living by the sweat, toil and tears of the poor.

“They continue spending huge public funds on ostentatious and luxurious lifestyles and seem incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor,” the CBCN stated.

The bishops also condemned the increasing rate of corruption among public servants across the country.

“In Nigeria, it spans a wide spectrum, ranging from book- cooking, foreign exchange (FX) arbitrage, over-pricing, and over- invoicing to embezzlement, money laundering, forgery, and all sorts of manipulation.

“Every day, outrageous and spine-chilling stories are told in the media about different public servants who have stolen staggering amounts of money from public coffers in a country where millions of citizens live in deep and debilitating poverty.

“We cannot easily overlook the sordid roles of many fraudulent politicians and Bank Executives in fleecing the whole nation and destroying our national economy through the dirty game of corruption, causing untold hardship and untimely deaths across the nation.”

The CBCN called for sincerity, accountability, and a collective effort to steer Nigeria away from its current trajectory towards a more secure and prosperous future.