Catholic bishops pass vote of no confidence in security agencies – The Sun Nigeria
From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Catholic Bishops under the aegis of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) have sounded the alarm over growing insecurity across Nigeria, which they say has left churches and other centers of worship vulnerable to attacks.
The RCCS has stressed the need for precautionary measures to secure the premises of the church and other ecclesiastical institutions, therefore it directs all dioceses and churches to take enhanced measures to strengthen security in their local assemblies. .
Chairman of RCCS, Most. Reverend Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, revealed the development in his speech delivered during the opening session of the RCCS 2022 Second Plenary Assembly held at Sacred Heart Pastoral Center, Oriu, Imo State on Sunday.
He lamented: “We are going through what could be considered the darkest chapter in our history as a nation. Extreme poverty, rising unemployment, rampant inflation, a collapsed economy with an increased debt burden and worsening insecurity. These have complicated the plight of the average Nigerian who seems doomed to a life of intolerable hardship and undeserved misery.
“Nigeria has continued to bleed endlessly from the ungodly activities of insurgents, bandits, militant herders, unknown gunmen, kidnappers and trigger-happy security agents. Nowhere seems safer as homes, farmlands, markets, highways, places of worship and parsonages have all been turned into rapture and killing grounds. Innocent citizens are slaughtered with savagery and brazen impunity by criminals who have no sense of the sanctity of human life.
CBCN has suggested that the quagmire is through good governance that aims for the common good. “Good governance generates peace which is the foundation of development. It takes root when the dignity and rights of people are respected, when the law exists, when citizens are not excluded from political participation, when there is an equitable distribution of national resources and when people are protected hunger, poverty and unemployment.
“It is overstating the obvious to observe that the lack of good governance leads to extreme poverty, unemployment, misery, crime and violent conflict. In these difficult times, we can only emphasize that the first responsibility that any government owes to its citizens is the security of their lives and property. Nigerians have the right to live in a safe and secure country. It’s basic; everything else follows from it.
“After the heavy annual budgets devoted to security and after the government’s repeated assurances that it is on top, our country is still plagued by insecurity. It’s a shame. The government must take its responsibilities. Since the government seems overwhelmed to secure us, the dioceses have been asked to take adequate measures to reinforce security in parishes, presbyteries and other Church institutions.
The CBCN also claimed that the growing insecurity and worsening economic situation in the country has led to migration and brain drain, pointing out that professionals and skilled workers leave Nigeria by the thousands every year in search of jobs. security, employment opportunities and a better standard of living abroad. , especially in Europe, the United States and other African countries.
“There is no doubt that the regular remittances from these migrants help reduce poverty among households left behind and have a positive impact on our national economy as a major source of inflow of foreign income. Either way, the professionals and skilled workers who would have contributed to national development are lost to the country.This is only one side of the story.
“The other side of the story, which is more of a national disgrace, is that thousands of young men and women, who in search of greener pastures, embark on a perilous journey to Europe through the Sahara Desert, and along the way, some die and are buried in unmarked graves. Others are trafficked for slavery, sexual exploitation and organ removal. Many drown while attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea in rickety and risky boats.Those lucky enough to reach their final destination end up in camps for asylum seekers, where they are sometimes subjected to inhumane conditions.
“Despite the collaborative efforts of police, customs, immigration, the Network Against Child, Abuse and Labor Trafficking (NACTAL) and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Human Trafficking ( NAPTIP) to combat human trafficking in Nigeria, traffickers are having a blast.
“This despicable modern-day slavery is on the rise because it has become a lucrative business and also because of the high level of corruption that underpins it. In desperation to escape extreme poverty and financially support their poor families, some young girls, with the support of their parents, volunteer to be trafficked into prostitution, unaware of the level exploitation and dehumanization that awaits them.
The Catholic bishops have therefore called on dioceses, parishes and church organizations across the country to help raise awareness on the issue. “Good governance is one of the most effective ways to stem migration, brain drain and human trafficking. If people are assured of safety and security, good job opportunities and better living conditions in their homeland, they would not be tempted to leave their country.
RCCS congratulated His Eminence, Cardinal Peter Okpaleke, Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese, on his recent creation as Cardinal, and two newly ordained Bishops, Bishop Isaac Dugu, Bishop of Kastina-Ala; and Bishop John Bakeni, Auxiliary Bishop of Maduguri, who attended the CBCN conference for the first time.