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Catholic Bishops, CAN Knock Tinubu, Over Nationwide Hardship

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Catholic Bishops
Nigerian Catholic Bishops

Catholic Bishops under the aegis of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have taken the federal government of President Bola Tinubu to task.

They have lamented over the challenging state of things in the country, mentioning economic hardship, insecurity, corruption and the masses’ resort to begging as indicative of the worst of times for Nigeria

The two august bodies made their views known at the opening session of the 2024 First Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria in Abuja yesterday.

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The president of the CBCN Archbishop Lucius Ugorji, who took the first salvo, declared the times as tumultuous and the worst for the country.

READ ALSO: Hardship: We Would Soon Revolt, We Can No Longer Pacify Our People – Sultan To Tinubu

“If we cast a cursory glance at the present state of our nation, we are inclined to conclude that this seems to be the worst of times for our country in the areas of security and the economy,” he said.

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The Catholic Bishops president mentioned such ills as rise in banditry, kidnappings and rampant killings amidst economic hardship as worrying, adding:

 “Unarmed citizens are brutally slaughtered on our highways, in their homes and even in the sacred precincts of places of worship.

“Killer herdsmen, bandits and unknown gunmen seem to be on rampage. ‘’Many communities across the nation have been taken over completely by criminals. Families have lost their ancestral lands to armed invaders and land-grabbers”.

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On the government’s reform agenda,  he stated: “The reform agenda of the present government has added to the plight of Nigerians.

“With the withdrawal of fuel subsidies and the unification of the foreign exchange market, there has been a sharp increase in the pump price of petroleum products and a steep decline in the value of the naira. “Indeed, there is a free fall of the national currency.

“High, spiralling inflation has made it difficult for the average Nigerian to access basic commodities, including food items and medication.

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 READ ALSO: Naija Latest: State Government Goes Spiritual Over Economic Hardship

“As a result of the government’s reform agenda, millions of Nigerians have been reduced to a life of grinding poverty, wanton suffering, and untold hardship as never before in our national history. In a bid to survive, an increasing number of the poor have resorted to begging.”

 “As the government demands additional sacrifice from the struggling masses, one would expect to see a drastic cut in the cost of running the government at all levels.

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“On the contrary, it is worrisome to watch top government functionaries living by the sweat, toil and tears of the poor. They continue spending huge public funds on ostentatious and luxurious lifestyles and seem incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor. “It is no less worrisome to note that corruption among many public servants has gone beyond scale and measure corruption.

Worsening corruption

“Corruption is a complex reality involving moral rottenness, defilement and loss of integrity. In Nigeria, it spans a wide spectrum, ranging from book- cooking, foreign exchange (FX) arbitrage, over-pricing, and over- invoicing to embezzlement, money laundering, forgery, and all sorts of manipulation.”

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Aside the Catholic bishops, CAN also expressed similar sentiments of concern concerning kidnapping, runway inflation and hunger in the country, all symptomatic of the pervading suffering in the country.

Its president, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel Okoh, asserted: “As members of the Nigerian Christian community, we acknowledge the multi-faceted challenges faced by our churches on a daily basis.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Presidency Speaks On Moving The FCT To Lagos

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“From a deliberate attempt to edge out Christianity in certain parts of the country through denial of Right of Occupancy for churches that want to erect their worship places to targeted serial attacks, arson and kidnapping of clergymen for ransom that has now become a daily occurrence.

“The high level of insecurity, runaway inflation and hunger are areas of serious concern as well.”

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