Catholic Bishops in the South East have raised the alarm that Nigeria is in great danger, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to, immediately, adopt a new spirit and approach to governance and issues of security.
The Bishops expressed their position during an emergency meeting on the state of the nation at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha, Anambra State.
The bishops decried the rising level of violence and insecurity across the country.
The meeting, attended by Bishops and Auxiliary Bishops of all Catholic Dioceses in the South East, was chaired by Archbishop Anthony Obinna of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province and hosted by Archbishop Valerian Okeke of Onitsha Archdiocese.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, Archbishop Obinna said: “The injustice and insecurity noticeable at various levels of governments and the highhandedness with which government and security personnel approach various segments of this nation has led to public outcry, dismay and disappointment.
“In the light of this, there have been provocations and reactions from people who have been yearning for government’s response to the genuine needs and outcry of the people.
“This nation is in great danger, unless we bring a new spirit and approach.
“So, we challenge the government to look into security matters and restrain those using weapons of various sorts to intimidate people and creating unrest in the system.
“We expect a stoppage of the carnage taking place in the farmlands in various locations, and we, also, challenge the people at large to recognise that every human life is sacred.
“As fellow citizens, we need to cherish one another and bring a spirit of respect and mutual appreciation, so as to minimise and eliminate the bad blood that is circulating in Nigeria.”
Also speaking, the Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha Province, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, decried the lopsidedness in the application of justice in Nigeria and called on government to be fair minded in dealing with the people.
He said: “For example, the government has found it necessary to disarm those struggling for self defence, while leaving armed herdsmen, bandits who are killing many and destroying people’s farmlands.
“Instead of addressing the cries of the people, they are crushing those who are crying.
“The government should be fair in dealing with the people.
“We rely on God who never fails and we call on all men and women of goodwill to continue to pray, since nothing is impossible before God.
“Do not be afraid, for God will deliver us.”