AFRICA/NIGERIA - "Insecurity and economic mismanagement threaten the nation"

Friday, 16 September 2022 bishops   violence   foreign debt  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "The frequent attacks on travelers in the streets and on the faithful in churches and other places of worship have not yet received an adequate response from the authorities". This is the umpteenth denunciation of the bishops of Nigeria on the security situation of the most populous African country (about 200 million inhabitants), contained in the final communiqué published at the end of the Second Plenary Assembly of the Nigerian Bishops' Conference (see Fides, 12/9/2022).
"Unfortunately, the government has failed to fulfill its security duties. We find that even when suspects are arrested, there are no diligent prosecutions of the perpetrators of these nefarious acts, leaving helpless and desperate citizens", they say in the document sent to Agenzia Fides.
"As we continue to call on civil authorities to uphold their constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and property of Nigerians, we call on everyone to strengthen security measures in their homes and institutions. We call on all citizens to be law-abiding, vigilant and to avoid all forms of violence and crime".
On the economic level, the Bishops' Conference notes that "due to mismanagement and a failing economy, with an ever-increasing debt, poverty and hunger are rampant in our country, despite our enormous human and natural resources".
"Rampant inflation, high cost of goods and services, rising unemployment, theft of crude oil and non-functioning refineries have inflicted untold hardships on the citizens. In addition, governments have resorted to unnecessary loans, jeopardizing the well-being of current and future generations."
"The poor state of our economy has led to the massive migration of our human capital, especially professional and skilled workers, who are fleeing the nation in search of job opportunities".
The Bishops reiterate that "the Church does not identify with nor is she bound to any political party". "Nevertheless, the Church is not indifferent or neutral to the formation and activities of the political community", recalling the responsibility of all to the search and pursuit of the common good. An appeal to Catholic lay faithful "especially those with talents for the difficult, yet noble art of politics, or whose talents in this matter can be developed, to prepare themselves for it and, forgetting their convenience and material interests, to engage in political activity in pursuance of the common good". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 16/9/2022)