Catholic bishops from 16 West African countries on Sunday in Abuja accused President Muhammadu Buhari, the APC and other politicians of talking too much about the fight against bandits and other criminals in Nigeria, but of doing too much little to resolve insecurity and other crises in the country.
They also urged the political class of the West African sub-region to redouble their efforts to end insecurity, poverty and hunger.
The clerics launched the call at the end of their 4th Plenary Assembly.
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Ignatius Kaigama, who spoke to reporters, explained that there should be no gambling with security, the well-being of the people and peaceful co-existence.
“We are asking our politicians to talk less and do more. They talk a lot, promise a lot, campaign a lot, but do very little concretely to eliminate hunger, insecurity, disease and all that we suffer from,” Kaigama explained. “They need to move from talk to action. All the differences, prejudices and stereotypes that divide us must be seriously taken into account.
He further explained that there is no part of Nigeria and other West African countries that does not have security concerns and urged every citizen to look within and avoid evil.
“The problems have not diminished. They are still there, but our collective will to fight them has not diminished either. When there is life, there is hope. So we will continue to talk, examine and x-ray the issues before us. With good will and determination, we will succeed,” he stressed. “This is what we tell ourselves as bishops, priests and all Christians. Let’s do something instead of crying and worrying. Let’s actively do something concrete.
Mr. Kaigama also urged West Africans to actively participate in building brotherhood in their countries.
In a pastoral message read during the closing mass of the plenary assembly, the bishops of West Africa noted that human fraternity was seriously threatened. The message was read during the homily by Palmer Buckle, the Archbishop of Cape Coast.
The Bishops called on political and traditional leaders to renew their commitment to work for the welfare and well-being of citizens.
They called on leaders – traditional, political, business and women, civil servants and civil servants, especially the youth, to unite in defense of the values dear to family and fraternity.
“As Africans, we have always lived for each other. We need to rise up, identify our gifts and use them to build bridges of friendship and love. God, who is our father to all, calls us to this,” the pastoral message reads.
The conference started on May 2 and would end on May 9.