Abuja — "We must be united in the fight for our common destiny as a people. It must be clearly stated to the Federal Government that if they continue to ignore the constructive criticisms and recommendations of Nigerians from every sector, the country will collapse and become ungovernable", the Bishops of Nigeria warn in a statement released yesterday, May 7, and signed by His Exc. Mgr Augustine Obiora Akubeze, Archbishop of Benin City and President of the Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).
The Bishops warn that "we are rapidly reaching ungovernability". "Police stations are being burnt, our gallant military men and women are being killed, barracks are attacked, IDP camps are attacked, farmlands are invaded, youth unemployment is at its highest, private sectors are not giving enabling environment to thrive, and appointments to offices are not reflective of our diversities; the complaints are almost endless: could the sounds signalling a collapsing nation be louder than this?", they ask themselves.
Among the crimes that are multiplying in the country is the kidnapping of students, the last of which took place on May 5, when a group of university students from Abia Uturu State University, in the southeast of the country, were abducted by armed men while traveling in a bus, along the road from Okigwe to Uturu. In this regard, the Bishops state that "Nigerians Nigerians are tired of hearing of bandits taking youths in the university and executing some of them, while others are kept to be used to bargain for ransom". "The insecurity is leading to a daily loss of lives and properties in every part of the country. These facts are indisputabile".
To curb the collapse of the nation, the Bishops urge the president to convene a national conference geared towards implementing restructuring and devolution of power.
Already in February, the Bishops' Conference of Nigeria had warned that the Nigerian Federation "risks falling apart" (see Fides, 24/2/2021) due to the inability of state forces to guarantee the safety of all, the consequent proliferation of groups of self-defense and of the ethnic and autonomist forces in different regions of the country.