Catholic Bishops in Nigeria have admonished political leaders in the country to ensure the provision of good governance for all Nigerians.
The Bishops said that it is the inescapable duty of the political leaders to do so, stressing that although political parties are the platforms through which people seek political offices, political office holders ought to know that they are to provide services for the entire citizen, inrespective of political, religious or ethnic affiliation.
The admonition is contained in a communique issued at the end of the Second Plenary Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria held in Sokoto , 6 – 14 September 2018.
The communique condemned the spate of violence and high level of insecurity in Nigeria which have continued unabated.
In keeping with the provision of Nigeria constitution, the Bishops also urged Governments at all levels to respect the rights of citizens and groups to practice their religion unhindered.
The communique added that governments should make it possible for religious groups to acquire land for the building of places of worship, schools, hospitals and social welfare facilities whenever the need arises.
The Bishops, however, enjoined every Nigerian to avoid acts of religious fanaticism in order to promote peaceful co-existence and harmony.
The Bishops equally held that all forms of pursuit of national interest should be guided by the rule of law and respect for human dignity and development. They therefore encouraged the Legislatures to enact good laws and abrogate bad ones to safeguard the common good.
On the 2019 general elections, the Clergy men demanded that the choice of the electorates, once made, be respected by all.
“Although elections are not enough to enthrone good governance, they are important stage in that project. And unless we get our electoral process right, elections in Nigeria will only become expensive cosmetic exercises that legitimise corruption and ineptitude,” they said.
In the communique, the.Bishops also demanded that the Federal Government should secure the unconditional release of Leah Sharibu who was still being held captive for refusing to denounce her Christian Faith. And also demanded the release.of the remaining Chibok girls and all other persons still in captivity.
In the face of the prevailing crisis, the Bishops urged Nigerians, particularly Christians not to be afraid or discouraged but to put their trust in God and work hard to build a harmonious and peaceful nation.
The opening ceremony of the Bishops’ Conference was attended by 73 Bishops from across the country, state governors, Emirs, traditional rulers and Catholic faithful.