Be Proactive, Engage “better equipped Personnel”: Bishops in Jos Province to Nigeria Gov’t

Catholic Bishops in Nigeria’s Ecclesiastical Province of Jos. Credit: Bishop Mark M. Nzukwein

Catholic Bishops in Nigeria’s Ecclesiastical Province of Jos are urging the West African nation’s government to be proactive in its administrative approaches.

In a collective statement following their two-day meeting that ended Tuesday, January 30, the Local Ordinaries of Jos Archdiocese and the Dioceses of Bauchi, Jalingo, Maiduguri, Pankshin, Shendam, Uukari and Yola advocate for competence and motivation as important considerations for the appointment of civil servants.

“We urge the government to be proactive and to ensure that better equipped and motivated personnel assume their responsibilities of protecting the land and its citizens,” they say.

The Catholic Bishops acknowledge efforts on the part of security agencies that they say have kept “strong in the face of insecurity”, and urge them to “stick to the rules of engagement in the discharge of their duties of safeguarding the lives and property of all the citizens.”

Religious leaders also have a role in fostering good governance, they say, and decry manipulation of religion.


“We call for a return to the true value of religion as a positive force in rebuilding our communities and invite all Christians, and indeed all people of goodwill, to be salt of the earth in the quest for rebuilding our nation,” the Catholic Bishops in the Ecclesiastical Province of Jos say in their three-page statement following the meeting they had at the Catholic secretariat of Jos Archdiocese.

It is regrettable that despite efforts to promote interreligious dialogue and peaceful coexistence in the region that has Christians, Muslims, and followers of African traditional religions, ethnic violence has persisted, they lament. 

Religion can be instrumental in rebuilding Nigerian communities through the fostering of “political participation, contribution to sustainable development, promotion of the common good, social justice, the rule of law, and shunning primordial interests that inhibit peace and development of the society,” the Catholic Church leaders continue.

They go on to caution religious leaders against “all divisive and inciting utterances and unguarded statements capable of creating confusion.”

To ensure lasting peace, the Catholic Bishops in Jos Ecclesiastical Province recommend “programs and policies that provide good and inclusive governance for the growth and development of society.”

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They urge the government to work towards ending the challenge of land grabbing in the region, which they say partly contributes to ethnic conflict.

The Catholic Church leaders push for the “return of the already grabbed lands to the ancestral owners”, adding that such a measure “will reassure the peace process in the State.”

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