The Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, CBCN, has taken a stand on the rising insecurity, electronic transmission of results and call for Nigeria’s break-up.
The Catholic bishops, in a communiqué issued at the end of the Second Plenary Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Enugu, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to adopt inclusion of all ethnic groups in decision making and policies of the nation in order to avoid a break-up.
The clergy admonished Nigerians and the government to toe the path of unity and dialogue in order to unite the nation and not cause break-up.
CBCN also demanded that the government ensures a just and fair trial of the arrested key players in the struggles to curb cases that trigger off further avoidable unrest and calls for break-up
Part of the communique read: “We urge both Government and citizens to work for a nation in which everyone and every part, irrespective of differences of tribe or religion or political affiliation, will have a sense of belonging. We reiterate that the struggle for the ‘soul’ of Nigeria, that is presently ongoing, will not be won by ethnic cleansing, nepotism, kidnapping and banditry but by love, fairness and equity, common good and patriotism.
“We, therefore, enjoin the government and all Nigerians to toe the path of justice and conciliatory dialogue and see themselves as agents of peace and development in order to ensure a harmonious and united nation.
“We are grateful to God that we still exist as one nation. This is in spite of sundry agitations and struggles for self-determination. We observe that the agitations and tensions are mainly as a result of bad governance, injustice, inequity, and unfairness in appointments and distribution of resources to parts of the country. We recognize the rights of peoples to self-determination; yet we emphasize that the exercise of such rights must be within the confines of the rule of law.
“We as a church are keenly interested in the political situation of our country. Although the Church does not support any political party, she supports every government that prioritizes the welfare of the citizens.”
The Church also condemned government policies that do not promote development and the common good.
They called for a fair and credible election in 2023 as it appealed to the National Assembly to rescind its decision against electronic transmission of results, stressing that that will create room for rigging of votes.
“We insist that there is an urgent need for a fair and credible electoral process, through which our political leaders emerge. We, therefore, state loud and clear that the recent voting by the National Assembly against electronic transmission of results of elections will create an opening for further manipulation of electoral votes and lay the foundation for more conflicts in future elections.
“We call on the National Assembly to reconsider its position in the light of world best practices,” the communique added.