Abuja, 16 May, 2021 / 8:00 pm (ACI Africa).
Catholic Bishops in Nigeria have called on the country’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to be open to criticisms and not embark on any form of propaganda against Church leaders who, when they speak, do so for the common good, with the best interests of the nation at heart.
In their last week’s collective statement, the members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) urge the Muhammadu Buhari-led APC Government “to listen to every Nigerian, both political actors in other parties, and non-political actors in Nigeria and the diaspora.”
“We speak out because we do not want Nigeria to collapse. We are not speaking out for the APC Government to fail. We are speaking out so that Nigeria will not fail. APC is not the owner of Nigeria; Nigeria is owned by Nigerians irrespective of political affiliation,” the Catholic Bishops say in their statement dated May 6 and circulated May 8.
They add, “The Catholic Church in Nigeria, through the leadership of the CBCN, has spoken several times about the need for us to ensure that our democracy works for every Nigerian and not for only a few privileged politicians or those connected to them. We have, like other Nigerians, seen broken promises made by political leaders.”
They continue, “Members of the CBCN, like other religious leaders, have spoken against what we considered Government failure concerning the constitutional obligation to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians; to work for the welfare of everyone, to protect freedom of religious expression; to protect everyone against discrimination on ethnic or religious grounds or any other forms of discrimination.”