The Catholic Bishops meeting in Akure has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to take urgent measures to alleviate the sufferings of poor Nigerians in the face of the prevailing economic recession.
Speaking at the 2nd plenary session of the opening mass of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria on Sunday in Akure, Ignatius Kaigama, President of the conference, said the body of bishops made a representation to Mr. Buhari in May concerning the plight of ordinary Nigerians and the state of the economy. He said the clerics extracted a promise from him to act quickly.
He also cautioned the President to eschew sentiments in the running of the country and provide an environment of equity and justice for all Nigerians.
“A lot still needs to be done by the Federal Government in alleviating the sufferings of the masses in the face of the current economic hardship,” he said.
“The country should not be ruled with sentiments and there should be fairness and equality.”
He also advocated an all-inclusive governance in a bid to fast track national development.
Mr. Kaigama expressed satisfaction on the cooperation between the church and the government of Ondo State. He said the Olusegun Mimiko-led administration had brought smiles to the faces of the people through the provision of good roads, infrastructural development, quality healthcare and urban renewal.
The Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, in his remarks at the conference attended by the Deji of Akure, Aladetoyinbo Adelusi, appealed to the bishops to join in the call for the restructuring of Nigeria.
According to Mr. Mimiko, true federalism remained the only panacea for the growth and development of the country.
He argued that Nigeria’s Federal Government was biting more than it could chew with the larger percentage of the resources at its disposal to the detriment of the federating units.
Mr. Mimiko also noted that the government had a responsibility to curtail religious bigotry in the country. He urged religious leaders to continue to pray for the nation.
He said corruption facing Nigeria could be addressed with the right policy in place.
He also cautioned on inter-religious conflicts, saying they may lead the country into more danger that might be difficult to overcome.
“Government has responsibility of bringing these bigots to book,” said Mr. Mimiko. “We are not comfortable with what the bigots are doing.”
“What they are doing is most worrisome in Nigeria. The church has a major role to play by praying for Nigeria.”
The governor charged churches to always stand up when they see an abuse of the secularity in Nigeria.
“We must stand to resist the few bigots who want to destroy Nigeria.”
He said deepening inequality also fuels radicalism in the society.
He commended the Catholic Bishops in Nigeria for what they had been standing for in Nigeria.