Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "The culture of death is increasingly part of our daily lives" denounce the Bishops of Nigeria in the message at the end of their first Plenary Assembly, referring to the "continuous horrific killings in some parts of Kaduna State, Taraba, Benue, Kogi, Edo, Rivers, Zamfara, Adamawa and other states".
"This persistent devaluation of human life and property poses an existential threat to our personal survival and that of our nation", the message states. "How can government continue to appear helpless in the face of such shameful tragedy? We strongly appeal to the President, in collaboration with the Governors of Kaduna State and other affected States to seriously take steps to arrest this drift before total anarchy and chaos consume the entire nation".
The violence that afflicts different parts of Nigeria derive at least in part from the lack of the search for the common good. According to the Bishops, "the Common Good presupposes respect for the human person and requires the social well-being and development of the group itself".
The Bishops, recalling that "for centuries, the Church has been an advocate of good governance for the Common Good", call on "all dioceses to promote the Social Teaching of the Church, to simplify and to translate it into concrete actions and to use it for an effective socio-political formation of all the people. Special attention must be paid to young people and families so that the values espoused in Catholic Social Teaching would be inculcated early into children and young people".
Referring to this year's election (election of the President and the Federal Parliament, election of governors and local bodies), the Bishops praise popular participation in the presidential vote but equally note the voter apathy, attributing it the "violence, malpractice and the unnecessary militarization of the process, all of which contributed to eroding the people’s confidence in the electoral process".
"We call on the government to recognize the inadequacies that characterized the 2019 elections and to take the necessary steps in order not to repeat them, urging them to approve and implement laws and policies that guarantee free, fair and credible elections in the future", they conclude. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 26/3/2019)