AFRICA/NIGERIA - The exhortations of the Bishops to the authorities: Fight against Boko Haram and corruption, economic development

Friday, 26 February 2016 bishops  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - To put an end to the violence of Boko Haram, fight corruption and develop the economy to improve the general living conditions. These are the main exhortations addressed to the Government by the Nigerian Bishops at the end of their first plenary assembly for the year 2016.
The statement sent to Agenzia Fides pays tribute to the courage of the national armed forces in addressing the threat posed by Boko Haram, but underlines the fact that Boko Haram, after losing control of large portions of land in the northeast of Nigeria, continues to carry out attacks against "defenseless targets such as camps for displaced people, markets and parks". "We encourage the government and security agencies to do all they can to defeat insurgents and prevent further loss of lives. We pray for God’s mercy on all who have died in this war", write the Bishops, who urge "alternative strategies towards ending terrorism" and compensation in favor of the victims of Boko Haram.
Regarding the fight against corruption the Bishops recalled the words of Pope Francis in the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, who calls it "a grave sin which cries out to heaven for vengeance, because it threatens the very foundation of personal and social life. It is a sinful hardening of the heart that replaces God with the illusion that money is a form of power".
Next to the fight against corruption there is also the need to tackle poverty and social inequality, "diversifying the economy (currently dependent on oil exports, ed.) and investing more in grassroots economic infrastructure that promote healthy small/medium scale industry and enterprise". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 26/02/2016)