“Act immediately to stem the tide”: Nigeria’s Catholic Bishops to Government on Insecurity

Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN). Credit: Nigeria Catholic Network

Catholic Bishops in Nigeria are appealing to the country’s government to take immediate action to address the challenge of security in the country. 

In a communique following their weeklong First 2024 Plenary Assembly, members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) say that insecurity cases are at a scale never witnessed before.

“Insecurity has attained yet a higher scale than we had ever seen before in the land. Insurgents, armed herdsmen, bandits, and the so-called unknown gunmen have continued to unleash terror in different parts of the country,” CBCN members say in their February 22 communiqué shared with ACI Africa.

They lament increased reported cases of abduction for ransom in the West African nation, saying it is now happening in homes and “areas where in the past it was thought impossible.”

As a result, many Nigerians have fled their respective homes and abandoned their sources of livelihoods including business, they further lament, adding that the situation has resulted in an increased number of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the country.


The Catholic Bishops recall their previous pleas on the need to address security concerns and make “yet another passionate appeal to Government to act immediately to stem the tide.”

Emphasizing the value of human life to any nation, CBCN members say, “The legitimacy of government depends on its capacity to protect life and property.”

They weight in the ongoing discussions about the possibility of Nigeria’s State Governments establishing a nationwide State Police, one of the agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s meeting with the country’s 36 State Governors on February 15. 

For CBCN members, stakeholders in Nigeria need to to “carefully” study the “ongoing discussion about the creation of State Police”.

Security stakeholders in the West African nation also need to “assess the impact of all other already existing security outfits in this regard,” the Catholic Church leaders say.

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In their communique following their Plenary Assembly held at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) Resource Centre, Durumi Abuja, CBCN members urge President Tinubu-led government to address the issue of the “worsening economy” in the country.

According to CBCN members, the policies around Nigeria’s economy are not “properly thought through and as such the outcomes seem to fall short of expectations.”

“For instance, while the fuel subsidy removal was meant to help improve government’s revenue which has been the case across the three levels of government, the impact on Nigerians has been debilitating,” they lament. 

Additionally, the Catholic Bishops say, the government’s decision to “float the Naira” has resulted in “unintended negative and harsh consequences.”

Amid tough economic times, there is “increasing disaffection and restiveness” among Nigerians, CBCN members note, and urge the government “to urgently address” the phenomenon that they say is “spreading across the population, to avoid a descent into chaos and anarchy.”


The Catholic Church leaders underscore the need for the leadership of the country to foster “transparency and accountability in governance”, adding that the practice of these values contribute to the promotion of “social cohesion”.

In the communique that CBCN President, Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji of Owerri Archdiocese, signed, Catholic Church leaders in Nigeria recognize with appreciate the role of media in the country, saying they “can inform, enlighten, and guide the government and citizens on important matters of governance, citizenship, and patriotism.”

They urge the government and “other relevant authorities” to help the media “perform their role responsibly and optimally,” rather than seeking “to repress or intimidate” them.

“We recommend that the fundamental rights of media workers be respected. We equally advocate for the responsible use of the mainstream and social media by all,” CBCN members say.

They advocate for togetherness, urging the people of God in Africa’s most populous nation “to leave all polarizations behind and come together in unity and cohesion.”

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“Those now in political power owe the nation the duty to create the enabling environment for all capable Nigerians to participate in the task of national rebirth,” the Catholic Church leaders say in the communique that the CBCN Secretary, Bishop Donatus A. Ogun of Uromi Diocese, co-signed.

They add, “Politicians who are not in power and all other Nigerians now should be ready to offer their positive contribution, beyond all political party affiliation and sensitivity.”

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