“Nigerians are sick of flimsy excuses and bogus promises from the government to deal with terrorists,” the Catholic Bishops say in their collective statement.
They call upon the Muhammadu Buhari-led government, “as a mark of honor”, to rise to its primary responsibility of “protecting the life and property of its citizens.”
“Our country has long teetered on the precipice of a failed state,” CBCN members say, and add, “Government should, therefore, stop trying to play the ostrich as the nation profusely bleeds and take urgent steps to unmask these marauding terrorists and their sponsors without further delay.”
Nigeria has been experiencing insecurity since 2009 when Boko Haram insurgency began with the aim of turning the West African nation into an Islamic state.
Since then, the group, one of largest Islamist groups in Africa, has been orchestrating indiscriminate terrorist attacks on various targets, including religious and political groups as well as civilians.
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The insecurity situation has further been complicated by the involvement of the predominantly Muslim Fulani herdsmen, also referred to as the Fulani Militia, who have been clashing frequently with Christian farmers.
Abductions for ransom have also become common in the country.
In their April 4 collective statement signed by CBCN President, Archbishop-elect Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, the Bishops also express concern about the “lingering face-off between government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) with its frustrating effects on young students, whose academic aspirations and ambitions are disrupted by a strike with no end in sight.”
“Our hearts also reach out to many Nigerian citizens who languish for hours in long queues at gas stations to buy fuel at exorbitant prices,” the Catholic Bishops say, and continue, “With severe hardship surrounding them at every turn, our countrymen and women seem condemned to a life of wanton suffering.”
They bemoan the fact that citizens of Africa’s most populous nation “groan daily in pain with anguished hearts and seem resigned to a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness.”
“This is totally unacceptable,” CBCN members say. They add, “We, therefore, call on the government to be moved by the plight of our people and take effective measures to liberate them from avoidable pains and agony.”
The Catholic Bishops continue, “As a dark cloud of uncertainty seems to be hanging over our nation, many Nigerians are strongly tempted to succumb to feelings of cynicism or despondency.”
They call upon the people of God in the West Africa nation to recall the comforting and reassuring words of Holy Scripture saying, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them: for it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”
Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.