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Governors’ Hateful Utterances “not a good example for our people”: Nigerian Archbishop

Archbishop Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso of Nigeria’s Kaduna Archdiocese/ Credit: Courtesy Photo

The hateful utterances between two Governors in Nigeria are a cause for concern for a Catholic Archbishop in the West African nation who has said such “confrontation” is not a good public show to ordinary people.

In a Friday, September 24 news report, Archbishop Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso reacts to the exchange between Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State in Northern Nigeria, and Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State in Southern part of the country.

The two Nigerian Governors failed to agree on the anti-grazing law that has been proposed in the Northern and Southern States of Africa’s most populous nation.

For Governor El-Rufai, the proposed law is unrealistic and unsustainable for livestock production. Meanwhile, for Governor Akeredolu, the bill is “externalizing banditry” from the North. 

“The confrontation between El-Rufai and the Southern Governors is not a good example for our people,” Archbishop Ndagoso has been quoted as saying, and adding, “The comments between El-Rufai and Akeredolu over the positions of the Southern Governors on anti-grazing law were unhelpful and might plunge the nation further into an unpleasant situation.” 

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According to the Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Kaduna Archdiocese, both Governors are being “too parochial”, focusing only on the interests of their States instead of the good of the nation. 

“People are just too parochial about their region or State and family. I think this has been the bane of development in our country. People only put the interest of their people and region on the front burner,” decries the 61-year-old Catholic Church leader. 

He cautions the politicians in general and Governors in particular against selfishness saying, “If one region develops and the other is backward, that will not promote peace and unity.”

“Look at what is happening in the North today; it is affecting every Nigerian. If you leave your brother behind, they will drag you back,” the Archbishop says in reference to heightened insecurity in Nigeria’s Northern States. 

Nigerians need to unite for the betterment of the whole nation, he underscores.  

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At least 12 States in Southern Nigeria have implemented the anti-open grazing law, which aims at reducing conflict between farmers and herders. 

In the law, a herder is expected to pay a fine of N50,000 (US$121.00) per cow if their cattle enters another person’s land. The law also prohibits herders from carrying firearms while herding. Anyone found guilty of this offense is to be imprisoned for twenty-one years. 

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Borno State has called for the implementation of Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) in schools within the region. 

In a September 21 report, CAN officials say CRK “will give opportunity for good moral upbringing among the Christian youths and children.”