- underscores religion as instrument of nation building
By Ononye VC
Catholic Bishops under the umbrella of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN)have underscored the importance of religion in building and sustaining of empires across the world.
According to to the bishops,religion through the churches have been doing so through socialisation processes,both formal and informal,societal integration and social control.
The Catholic Bishop’s spoke in a communique issued after their second plenary meeting for the year 2023 in Abuja which lasted from 7-15 September 2023.
According to the bishops,”Religion as it were brings to focus the inalienable place of God in human history”.The Catholic Bishops noted that the three major religions in Nigeria: Christianity,Islam and African Traditional Religion have enjoyed mutual co-existence over time and agreed on the sacredness of human life,moral uprightness,justice for all especially for the poor and vulnerable.
However,the clerics pointed out that religion has had it’s share of negative impact on some nations and sometimes used as a tool and justification for violence,oppression,division and manipulation.
The CBCN therefore called for a return to the true value of religion as a positive force in rebuilding our nation.
On the 2023 General elections,the bishops urged the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC)and it’s officials to ensure transparency,honesty and fairness in the conduct of elections with the expectation that results of elections would be transmitted electronically in real time from the polling units,though it observed that conduct of the election was marred by irregularities.
The bishops continued calling on the election tribunals and the courts to be fair,just and credible in their judgement inorder to inspire confidence in the process.
They charged the federal government to fight the escalating insecurity in the country which has prompted many to flee their homes, unemployment of youths and many other negative issues.
On the general hardship in the country,the bishops noted that it has made living very difficult,aggravated by the removal of fuel subsidy which has led to high cost of food items.
The bishops rejected the “increasing scandalous comfort and renumeration of elected leaders to the detriment of the poor”.
They further called for a better Nigeria in the spirit of Synodality as a way of life by journeying together as a people of God by way of communion,participation and mission.
The bishops also called for a moral regeneration of the citizenry and better democratic politics adding that the behaviour of members of the political class are far from ideal.