, 10 March, 2020 / 11:58 PM
In the fight against various insurgents operating in Nigeria, industrialized nations where weapons used by rebel movements are manufactured need “to look inwards” and review their role in fostering insecurity, a Bishop in Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria told ACI Africa in an interview.
“Anywhere there is war and conflict, there is a hand behind that benefits from it all,” Nigerian Bishop Emmanuel Badejo said last week in response to factors behind insecurity in his country.
In his view, besides Africans themselves, the “world powers” that manufacture and sell weapons are an important factor in the challenge of insecurity both in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
“These very powerful arms come into Africa and it does not seem to ever end!” the Bishop of Nigeria’s Oyo diocese lamented.
“I don't know of any African country that produces rockets. I do not know of any African country that produces bombs,” Bishop Badejo reflected and added in reference to the series of abductions, torture, and murders in his country, “It is definitely not just Africans who are causing all these problems.”
Bishop Badejo who doubles as the President of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) called “on those outside of Africa and the so called world powers to look inwards and do an examination of conscience.”
“If they really want a better world and want to help Africa, then they should stop the sales of small and big arms into Africa and find out who exactly are those who are supplying those who are causing all the trouble,” Bishop Badejo said, referencing countries that seem to “benefit from the crisis” on the continent through arms trade.
“It is time for the world to listen because at the end of the day, if it goes bad for Africa, it is going to reverberate on the entire world,” Bishop Badejo said.
He further pointed to “the immigrant problem” on the continent saying it is “part of the fallout of the wars in Africa.”
He lamented, “After having destroyed the territory in Africa, they turn around and complain that our young people migrate to Europe.”
“If people can have a minimum level of living and they have to go elsewhere to find greener pastures and the doors are closed, the walls are raised, it’s terrible,” the President of CEPACS, the committee that brings together Catholic Bishops responsible for communication in the conferences on the continent said.
He added, “SECAM addressed that matter at the end of the last assembly and appealed to all world powers to do everything possible to stop it. The Vatican has done the same.”
Speaking of the recent peaceful protests spearheaded by Bishops in Nigeria on Ash Wednesday and the first Sunday of Lent during which Church leaders in Nigeria called on international organizations to come to the aid of the nation, Bishop Badejo said, their call may be mistaken for “subversion.”
However, “We Bishops didn't see it like that at all,” he clarified and explained, “We saw it as a moral responsibility that goes beyond patriotism, that goes beyond the nationhood of Nigeria, because we all belong to one humanity and we are children of one God.”
In the interview with ACI Africa on the sidelines of the Standing Committee meeting of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), the Nigerian Prelate said solutions for peace in his are welcome wherever they might come from.
“We're not calling anybody to take over the government of Nigeria but if in any way that it could stop the Boko Haram insurgents, the Fulani herdsmen, the kidnappers, the bandits that are slaughtering people every day and are burning down people's properties, then it is a moral responsibility for those who are even outside Nigeria to do something about it,” he said.
“Wherever life is compromised, it’s important for all those who have the capacity to arrest the unnecessary waste of human life to do something about it,” Bishop Badejo added.
The Prelate further criticized African leaders for receiving “Aids that come in the form of Trojan horses that they get that destroy the African continent.”
“Our leaders need to get their acts right because they don't seem to have the clout or the strength to say no to some of the so-called aid that they get,” he concluded.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa