Catholic Bishops in Nigeria have decried the protracted security challenge in the country saying the West African nation has plunged “deeper into the abyss”.
In a Tuesday, January 31 press conference organized by the National Directorate of Social Communications of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) condemned the “unabating satanic killing of religious and opinion leaders and innocent Nigerians.”
“In spite of several interventions and advice to those in power from our Bishops, both as a body (the CBCN) and as individuals, our beloved country Nigeria continues to plunge deeper into the abyss”, Catholic Bishops in Nigeria said during the press conference that was held at the Catholic Secretariat in Abuja.
They said everyday Nigerians witness “pervasive killings of innocent citizens in their homes, churches, mosques, streets, trains, roads, and events.”
“Kidnappings, invasion of villages and towns, wanton looting and corruption, ransom taking, raping, and territorial conquest are sadly the order of the day,” they said.
The Catholic Church leaders said the current situation has left the West African country at the mercy of non-state actors who not only kill but also terrorize.
“Unfortunately, the people are yet to find hope in the present administration’s ability or desire to tackle the many problems that have bedeviled our dear country,” the Catholic Bishops said.
In the face of the challenges, CBCN members have encouraged the people of God in Africa’s most populous nation to take refuge in the light of Christ.
“Like the people of God in the Scriptures, Nigerians should be assured that, though they live in darkness now, they will see a great light from God (cf. Isaiah 9:2). And as the psalmist says ‘weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5)’”, they said.
The Catholic Bishops added “We are very hopeful, that, by God’s grace, peace, joy and happiness will be restored to this nation soon. But we all must desire and work towards it.”
They said that Nigeria is created great and abundantly blessed in all ramifications and therefore Nigerians need to “work together to make it good consciously.”
“If all good people rise and contribute acts and words of goodness to the national equation, the light will surely dispel the darkness because evil is the absence of good, just as darkness is the absence of light,” Catholic Bishops in Nigeria said.
Nigerians need to embrace righteousness as “sin diminishes any people”, the Catholic Bishops said, adding that the power to save Nigeria lies in the hands of Nigerians themselves.
At the press Conference, CBCN members also spoke about the planned conference at the CSN and requested support to enable its success.
“This Conference will focus on the theme: Citizens’ Participation in Good Governance in Nigeria. As usual, we count on your support to bring the resolutions of the Conference to the front burner,” they said.
They went on to thank the press for their dedication and for being worthy partners in the quest for a better Nigeria.
“We thank you immensely for the cooperation you have accorded the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria in the past and present,” CBCN members said, and added, “We salute you for your immense role as the watchdog of society, even in the face of glaring threats to life.”
They continued during the January 31 press conference, “We look forward to more synergy with you towards building a better country for the present and future generations.”