Catholic Bishops to Buhari: Your govt is failing, your goodwill being “fast depleted”

Rev.-Ignatius-Kaigama. [Photo credit: Daily Post]

Catholic Bishops in Nigeria on Thursday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to end the endless suffering, killings and other crimes afflicting Nigerians.

They made the plea when they paid a courtesy call on the President at the State House, Abuja.

The clerics in an address delivered by Ignatius Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos, and William Avenya, the Bishop of Gboko, said “there is too much suffering in the country: poverty, hunger, insecurity, violence, fear… the list is endless.

“Our beloved country appears to be under siege Many negative forces seem to be keeping a stranglehold on the population, especially the weaker and defenceless ones”.

Read full text of their address below:

Your Excellency,

Preamble We, the representatives of the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, bring you our cordial greetings and blessings. We desired this meeting, in order to continue the dialogue we initiated with you even before your election as President. We therefore thank you for granting us this audience, which affords us the opportunity to share with you, once again, our thoughts and concerns on some ssues affecting our dear country, Nigeria

First, we thank God for bringing you back to us after a period of ill health.
We hope and pray that you continue to make progress on the way to full recovery, in order to be able to face the enormous challenges emanating from your exalted office

Your Excellency, needless to say that, as President, you are the Father of our dear country Nigeria. It is therefore pertinent that as loyal citizens as well as informed members of the society we come to you from time to time to express not only our willing cooperation with the government in working for the progress of our country, but also to share with you the feelings of the multitude of Nigerians at this moment. We work with the people at the grassroots and therefore, have first-hand information about what they are going through

There is no doubt that when you came into office, you had an enormous amount of the goodwill of Nigerians, since many saw you as a person of integrity who would be able to bring sanity into a system that was nearly crippled by endemic corruption. Nearly three years later, however one has the feeling that this good will is being fast depleted by some glaring failures of government which we have the moral responsibility to bring to your notice, else we would be failing in our duty as spiritual fathers and leaders.

Our Concerns

Your Excellency, there is too much suffering in the country: poverty, hunger, insecurity, violence, fear… the list is endless. Our beloved country appears to be under siege Many negative forces seem to be keeping a stranglehold on the population, especially the weaker and defenceless ones.

There is a feeling of hopelessness across the country. Our youths are restive and many of them have taken to hard drugs, cultism and other forms of iolent crime, while many have become victims of human trafficking. The Nation is nervous.

Just as we seem to be gradually emerging from the dark tunnel of an economic recession that caused untold hardship to families and individuals, violent attacks by unscrupulous persons, among whom are terrorists masquerading as herdsmen, have led to a near civil war situation in many parts of the country. We are saddened that, repeatedly, innocent citizens in different communities across the nation are brutally attacked and their sources of livelihood mindlessly destroyed. Lives are wasted and property, worth billions of Naira, including places of worship schools, hospitals and business enterprises are torched and turned to ashes.

We are still more saddened by the recent massacre of unarmed citizens by these terrorists in some communities n Benue, Adamawa, Kaduna and Taraba States which has caused national shock, grief and outcry. The silence of the federal government in the wake of these horrifying attacks is, to say the least, shocking. There is a feeling of helplessness among the people and the danger that some people may begin to take laws into their hands.

We therefore earnestly urge the government to take very seriously its primary responsibility of protecting the lives and property of its citizens and ensure that such mindless killings do not reoccur. Herdsmen may be under pressure to save their livestock and economy but this is never to be done at the expense of other people’s lives and means of livelihood. We would like to add our voice to those of other well-meaning Nigerians who insist that a better alternative to open grazing should be sought rather than introducing “cattle colonies” in the country. While thinking of how best to help cattle owners establish ranches, government should equally have plans to help the other farmers whose produce is essential for our survival as a nation

In a similar vein, daredevil kidnappers, who at present are having a field day, with a feeling of invincibility, must be made to understand that there is a government in this country Government should invest more in equipping our Police Force with modern high-tech devices that will help them track down and arrest these criminals and make them face the wrath of the law.

The Federal Character Principle is enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: “The government of the Federation or any of its and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or in any of its agencies (Section 14, Sub-section 3-4 Disregard for this Principle in some federal government appointments as well as perceptible imbalance in the distribution of federal amenities has created the loss of a sense of belonging in many parts of the country, hence the constant cries of marginalization, agitation for secession and calls for restructuring.

These and many more such problems are, in our opinion, grave matters that should be worrying all political leaders in our country today, rather than any bid for re-election.

Conclusion and Assurance of Prayers.

Our Church has always complemented the efforts of government in such areas as providing quality education and primary health care services to our people. We continue to make our contribution to nation-building through our prayers, admonitions and assistance to needy. Nigerians whenever we can. As the voice of the voiceless, we shall continue to highlight the plight of our people and play our prophetic role of sensitizing the government, thus promoting good governance, national unity and cohesion. We strongly feel that everybody in government at this moment has to take more decisive steps to restore the confidence of the Nigerian people in our governments. Our collective efforts must be seen in the desire to return to the fine principles of democracy, such as true federalism negotiation and consensus building, as means of achieving a more equitable distribution of the resources of our country and good governance.

Thank you, Excellency, for the audience and may God bless you.

Most Rev. Dr. Ignatius Ayau KAIGAMA Archbishop of Jos , CBCN President, CBCN

Your Most Rev. Dr. William AVENYA
Bishop of Gboko
Secretary CBCN


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  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    Illiterate certificate forger, perjurer, bigot, sectionalist and herdsman Buhari is too far gone in his tribal inclinations to change now. What we must all ensure does not happen is a 2nd term in office for the disaster of a man.

    • AryLoyds

      They are wasting their time , buhari is deaf!

  • Debekeme

    Wow. they said all this directly to Mr. President’s face? I wonder what was going through Buhari’s head when this was being read to him.

    I think Buhari’s heart is already hardened and hes too far gone down the road to perdition to turn back.

    His wife, the mother of his children has told him the truth. But his heart was hardened. She told him the truth and he embarrassed her on live Television at an international event abroad. He said shes only useful in the bedroom and kitchen!

    He wont listen to his wife, he wont listen to his long time friends; OBJ and IBB, He wont read the papers or go online to feel the tempo and heart beat of his people.

    Peoplein his country were dying, but he entered a airplane and flew to Ethiopia for an award instead of flying to Benue to say sorry to mothers who lost their children. His heart is hardened.

    What the Bishops have told Buhari is to Buhari like the buzzing of an irritating fly. Buhari will not understand or heed their warnings. But Nigeria will survive. Nigeria is bigger than Buhari

    • princegab

      The cool truth, thanks

    • FirecloudOFGOD

      I wonder if Buhari has ever heard of Pharaoh or read about what happened to Nebuchadnezzar?
      If has not, does he remember Abacha his friend?

  • Jon

    Buhari is not and will never be father of the Nation. He is just the President. He is a radical Islamic jihadist. People with such views cannot be a father to a multi-ethnic and multi.religious society.

    Bahari should resign and become the commissioner of cattle colonies established in Kano or Daura or somewhere far North.

  • javscong javscong

    Well delivered admonition. I appreciate the forthrightness of these TRUE Men of GOD. The other so called “men of God” go there to be cheerleaders and ask for import duty waivers etc. May GOD continue to guide and protect the CATHOLIC clergy.

  • Zacchaeus Akinleye, ME, P.E.

    Thank you Sirs for the courage to speak truth to power. Please keeping doing it, as a breath of fresh air than those who went to Aso Rock to offer prayers for a president they were not allowed to see and then refused answer the question: “Did you see Yar Adua?”

  • Waandu

    The Head of State of catholics is the Pope. They should go and visit him not Buhari.

    • Tony Ani

      Mumu.

  • Du Covenant

    While I am never against constructive criticisms, In Nigeria it is often full of insincerity.Where were these Archbishops during the last dispensation?. Ordinary citizen suffered then while our commonwealth was being shared about, I honestly do not know if Nigeria would have been intact had the APC not come in. Yes, things are still hard in the land, my question to those castigating today, what do you expect considering the damage that has been done to the country over so many years?. It is also a notable fact that, it takes a lot longer to build anything good than to damage it, we must change our attitude and try to contribute no matter how little to the welfare of our country.

    • Tony Ani

      We have heard enough of blaming the last administration Bro.You seem indifferent to the suffering of the citizens because you are comfortable. There is no difference between the PDP and the APC. We need a genuine new beginning, and all hands must be on deck to salvage our future from the two corrupt and greedy parties. The leadership of the two parties must be barred in future elections if we desire genuine change.

      • Du Covenant

        My broda, all I tried to highlight is that these Archbishops are hypocrites because I don’t see them as men of principles. Only Bishop Kukah that has come out consistently to say there is grave injustice perpetrated by the elite on ordinary Nigerians. You will agree with me that, the church is part of the problem we have in our country. If I had my way, all the cross-carpeting by our greedy politicians would have stopped.

        • Truthman

          Chuckles. So your money is now in the safe hands of the Cabal? We are not fooled. Three years of Budgeting and nothing to show for it. No single capital project was executed in the Ministry of Works in 2017 – Fashola himself said that. I tell you, the government you accuse of stealing performed 10 times better than this useless government under a never-do-well so-called-president who is ignorant of everything happening under his government. The govt you are sticking out your neck for just reinstated the sacked NHIS man that ate up almost 1 trillion Naira. If I hear you mention corruption again, I will slap you across the Internet.

        • Powerlessconscious

          The bishops are hypocrite. Pmb is really succeeding but they want to paint him failure because of economic sabotage by the enemies. I believe, they are campaigning PDP. Why don’t they ask the president the progress so far but just open their mouth to start vomiting lies. They mention all the evils thing to discredit the president. How will someone in his right conscience open his mouth and say buhari did not make progress compared to where we were coming. Those are blind. They believe bad news by media but they don’t want to believe good news by same media. They believe anyone that say bad thing about the president but they don’t want to believe anybody that say good thing about the president. They don’t want to believe every progress by the govt published by the media but they can believe bad incident published by same media. This us hypocrisy. I don’t care I STAND WITH PMB.

        • Tony Ani

          Thank you.

      • Powerlessconscious

        Are you part of those suffering. I don’t know the year there is no suffering in Nigeria. These bishops are not sincere, they carry the voice of opposition. If not that apc came to power, Nigeria would have be like seria. A lot of people are living good life as normal in the country and a lot if people are not living good life as normal in Nigeria. Was there a time there was no hunger and suffering in Nigeria with PDP 16years of bad governance.?
        The bishop are not seeing the progress, this is why they are castigating the president with the hope they are speaking for people. People are enjoying and people are suffering, that is how it has always be.

    • Powerlessconscious

      Don’t mind those bishop. It is media that cause all the outrages in the country. Nigeria is already set for progress. People have always be suffering and people have always been enjoying. The bishop now came to paint it that it is everybody that suffering and the suffering began today. Let any bishop say what ever to cause more tension in the country, they are not speaking for someone like me. I know the problem of this country and I know the progress made so far. So the bishop should save their political word for themselves. I stand with pmb. Nigeria is going great again. And we will not be wanderers again. God bless baba.

  • Umar Ahmadu Sanda

    God knows better than any human, I don’t believe in any human, our country is burning we have no where to go,please Lord sent your angel’s to come and save us from unpleasant shape I weap for my country Nigeria

  • pheliciti

    At least they went to the President and told him their views, even if many of us don’t agree with some of the expressed views. They didn’t stay afar to rain curses. They still prayed for the govt to succeed. That should be the role of religious leaders and patriots- pray and work for govt to succeed and when its election time, vote according to your conscience.

  • FirecloudOFGOD

    Buhari was booted out as a military President.
    He tried 4 times to lead the nation until finally, and with the help of an ex-convict,
    got into power on back of the wave of widespread frowning at the endemic corruption prevalent under GEJ.

    One would have thought that Buhari,
    after his past failures and experiences on many platforms as a leader,
    would have learnt a few lessons? Not so, he has brought Nigerians to a state one would never imagine will happen.

    He has fortunately brought Nigerians especially the Shiites
    and middle Belters Christians to their knees. Fortunately to their knees? Yes! Therein lies the victory.
    As long as they are on their knees, but deeply and fervently in prayer to God, so shall the almighty show his full power.

    Buhari shall see that God installs and removes leaders at will.
    Buhari has shown base instincts of a godless, pretentious and characterless leader!
    Shame on him and his Kaduna Mafia Cabal who have turned Nigeria into a colony where the blood of innocents are shed.

    If God is the ultimate ruler of the universe, ALL their plans have failed miserably.

  • Otile

    The Bishops understand that hell was created with good intentions. So, they now understand why the President authorized the well thought out cow colonies across the nation so that the cows can feed fat on the good crops while the farmers welcome the herdsmen. The President also understands that the friction between the farmers and the herdsmen is one of poor communication. Once things are explained well the farmers will be inviting the herdsmen to dinner and vice versa. As they say – with good arrangement the devil can see God.

  • Powerlessconscious

    They present it like pmb is failing. If you can not see the progress and the successes. Why don’t you ask? It is media that cause all the outrages in the country. Nigeria is already set for progress. People have always be suffering and people have always been enjoying. That is how it is in Nigeria. The bishop now came to paint it like it is everybody that suffering and the suffering began today. Let any bishop say what ever to cause more tension in the country, they are not speaking for someone like me. I know the problem of this country and I know the progress made so far. So the bishop should save their political word for themselves. I stand with pmb. Nigeria is going great again. And we will not be wanderers again. God bless baba.