AFRICA/NIGERIA - Bishops: "President, we are with you in the fight against corruption and violence"

Wednesday, 4 May 2016 bishops  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "We commend your efforts in the fight against Boko Haram and against corruption. We encourage that justice be done according to the rule of law, with no sacred cows to be spared", said His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos and President of the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria, in his speech on the occasion of the Bishops’ visit to Nigerian President Muhammud Buhari, on May 2.
Referring to Boko Haram and corruption, Mgr. Kaigama called them "two monsters which threaten to destabilize Nigeria and to cripple our national growth and development". In his speech, the text of which was sent to Agenzia Fides, the Archbishop of Jos underlines the efforts of the Catholic Church to bring aid to people forced to flee from the violence of the Islamist sect. "In particular - he recalled - the Catholic Bishops of Maiduguri and Yola as well as Bishops in other parts of the Country have hosted large numbers of Internally Displaced Persons. Caritas Nigeria sent a delegation to Cameroun with substantial relief materials to give succor to thousands of Nigerians taking refuge there".
The President of the Bishops' Conference also cited the recent massacres in the southern States, such as those that occurred in Agatu and Nimbo (see Fides 02/05/2016), attributed to the Fulani herdsmen, who seem to be responsible also of the failed attack against the car on which Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja was travelling.
According to Mgr. Kaigama help must be given to herdsmen in difficulty due to climate change (see Fides 02/05/2016) and farmers, also to create an economy which has to be less dependent on oil, but at the same time states that "armed attacks and wanton killings have become a national threat, it should be declared an insurgency and treated as such".
Mgr. Kaigama finally complained about the lack of State support to Catholic schools, defined "mission schools" because they provide quality education to all those who request it, without discrimination, and the enormous difficulties to build Christian places of worship in federal universities in the North, with a Muslim majority, as well as new churches in the same areas.
"We urge you to kindly encourage State governments to kindly enforce the freedom of religion enshrined in our Constitution", said Mgr. Kaigama to the Head of State. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 04/05/2016)