The Catholic Archbishops of Abuja have has urged government and the law enforcement agencies to do all that is necessary to tackle national insecurity and restore lasting peace in the country.
This is contained in a communique issued on Saturday in Abuja after a two-day General Assembly. The communique was jointly signed by His Grace, Most Rev Ignatius Kaigama, the Archbishop of Abuja, and Rev. Fr. Sebastian Musa, the Chancellor.
The bishops also condemned in totality the violence and relentless attacks by insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and people with criminal and dubious motives across some segments of the country.
They added that the root causes of these crises and criminal acts are not unknown to the authorities, but the unhealthy sentiments seem to play out in the handling of the menace with kid gloves.
The bishops said that insecurity has crippled economic and agricultural activities, forcing the nation to depend on external loans for survival.
“As part of the dividends of democracy, we call on government to put into judicious and effective use, the huge amounts being borrowed externally to run the affairs of government and finance projects across the nation.
‘’Many of our youths roam the streets with dim hopes for a brighter future. We cannot in Nigeria therefore remain blind to the issues of corrupt governance, unemployment, insecurity, the discontent among young people and the increasing inability of many to meet the basic necessities of life’’ it read.
They thanked God that Africa was spared from the widely speculated destruction by the coronavirus pandemic that ravaged every continent of the world.
“The pandemic exposed our weak political stamina and fragile economy to more difficult situations that constitute a setback towards effective evangelization and the rapid development of our people,” the communique said.
The Archdiocese has continued to enjoy God’s blessings, particularly, in the area of pastoral growth.
’It is hoped that as we mark the 40th anniversary of the jurisdiction of Abuja on November 6, 2021,’’ it read.
They also appreciated the various Commissions in the Archdiocese as they were up and doing, adding that ‘’ We commend their initiatives and are grateful to them’’.
On Liturgical Commission, they noted that the Commission is committed to increasing the awareness of prescribed liturgical guidelines and adaptations approved for use in the archdiocese.
They appealed for more Catholics to show active participation and cooperation in ecumenism, saying that Justice, Development and Peace (Caritas) Commission has been able to assist some internally displaced people as a result of insurgency as the youths were given a special attention in the face of unfortunate unemployment in the country.
On support for the Family and Human Life Commission, the communique said the church has been able to create greater awareness through the celebration of the Holy Family Sunday, the maiden World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, and the 2021 Family Week.
They noted that the commission is striving in its responsibility for the pastoral care of the family and advocacy for the support and protection of human life.
As contained in the communique, the education commission is currently preparing a policy document to harmonize all Catholic educational activities within the Archdiocese.
They said that given the present statistics, there is the need for support to establish Archdiocesan-owned schools in needy settlements across the Archdiocese.
The clerics announced that the commission has successfully obtained an exemption from tenement rate and some other payments from catholic schools in the Municipal Area Council.
The bishops further said that the youth commission has organized a number of activities to make the children and youth stay away from social vices.
They commended the catechatical commission, saddled with the responsibility of transmitting the faith, as they have been successfully organising annual seminars for Christians.
As the Communications Commission has not relented in helping to spread the gospel; the Health Commission is saddled with the responsibility of carrying on with the healing ministry of Jesus Christ through its provision of preventive and curative healthcare services in our Archdiocese.
‘”This is in collaboration with the Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, the Guild of Catholic Nurses, CARITAS, Parishes and the Catholic Television.
‘’ The commission has been able to organize medical outreach programmes, implement COVID-19 preventive measures and health education interventions across the Archdiocese.
‘’We urge those who need medical attention to patronize our hospitals, clinics and indeed all healthcare centres.
The assembly finally recommended that all Catholics should intensify prayers for a greater sense of collaboration and bonding as a family of God.
”No individual priests, religious congregations and church societies are to work in isolation but in collaboration.
‘’And Catholics must also continue to pray for a more peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.
‘’As we continue to pray and work together for greater cohesion and collaboration according to the prayer of Jesus, ‘they may all be one’ (John. 17:21)’, let us properly dispose ourselves to the workings of the Spirit within us,’’ the bishops prayed. (NAN)