Catholic Bishops Conference Thumb’s Up Nigerian Army, Security Forces For Tackling Insurgency
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province has commended the Nigerian Army and the nation’s security forces for their sacrifice and commitment towards ending the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Bishops gave the commendation in a Communiqué issued at the end of their 2nd plenary meeting held at the Jubilee Conference Centre, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, between January 18-19, 2016 with the theme: Keep Yahweh’s Attention.
The Catholic bishops also appealed to the government that the current general vigilance in the area of security be sustained so as to forestall a reoccurrence of the worst days of insurgency in Nigeria.
However, the communiqué signed by the Archbishop of Ibadan, Most Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin, the President of the Conference and Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye, Bishop of Ekiti who is the secretary of the conference pleaded that great care be taken to avoid punishing innocent people for the crimes of the guilty insurgents.
“We note that many Nigerians are happy to see the government fish out and prosecute looters of public funds. We encourage the government to stay focused on this important imperative of change. In pursuing this noble cause, however, Nigeria must avoid the endorsement of impunity.
“Two wrongs simply do not make a right and official lawlessness is always toxic for public sanity. As far as is possible the rights and dignity of all accused people must be respected. This stems from the dignity of every human being created in the image of God and the need for Nigeria to break with the elements of impunity of the past.
Regarding the Economic Downturn and efforts of government, the Catholic Bishops said, “Given the current downturn in Nigeria’s economic fortunes, our political leaders at various levels are unable to meet much of their financial obligations.
“One of the areas in which we plead for a positive resolution is in the payment of workers’ salaries. This unfortunate situation continues to foment considerable hardship on citizens in many States of the Federation.
“We commend the States of the Federation which have reached some sort of an agreement with their workers on the issue and are making serious effort to assuage the workers’ pains. Our leaders must avoid any sign of threat, arrogance or impunity in dealing with sensitive public challenges.
“Most people are bearing the brunt of the current economic situation with everything they have and the leaders must not add more emotional trauma to their burden. Governors are also public servants, and therefore must deal with other citizens with respect and courtesy”.
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