Nigeria: Catholic Archbishop Commends Southern Govs' Wake-Up Call

17 May 2021

Owerri — The Catholic Archbishop of Owerri Archdiocese, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, has commended the decision of the 17 Southern governors who met last week in Asaba, Delta State, to collectively ban open cattle grazing and sent a strong message to the federal government on restructuring.

Obinna also flayed the authorities for the mass movement of soldiers and police from the northern part of the country to South-east region without a clear mission of their movement.

He accused them of ulterior motives, even as the people of the Southeast are being subjected to series of dehumanisation, including killings of innocent people, especially youths by the security agencies.

The cleric, who spoke in his sermon at the Assumpta Catholic Cathedral, Owerri, during the Holy Mass marking the celebration of 2021 World Communication Day yesterday, emphasised that Nigeria has not changed from the colour of military regime since the current administration took power, adding that the people still suffer as if democracy does not exist in the country.

Obinna stressed that democracy seemed not to be working in Nigeria "because the leaders have failed the people. However, I commend the Southern governors for waking up from their slumber to now speak what the people want. In the past, they had failed the people by doing only what Abuja wants, but what they did this past week is a wakeup call to redress the anomaly by banning open cattle grazing and demanding the restructuring of the country."

On security, he decried the situation, saying: "We are in trouble because the government has failed to provide security for the people. The idea of importing soldiers and police from the North to South-east region to continue to kill our innocent people is worrisome."

According to him, "We are encouraging the governors of the South-east region, including the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, to speak up on the ills in the society. The federal government is dividing us, and external forces are coming to Imo State to kill our people in the pretense of protecting us. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN) came up because the federal government had been treating the people of the Southeast as slaves and second class citizens."

Speaking on the theme of the 2021 World Communication Day Pope's message on 'Come and See', the prelate enjoined media professionals to convey the truth all the time, adding that "with the advent of social media, the media have lost its colour and seriousness in communicating the truth, and I hoped that they would return to the ethics of the profession which dwells on truth and fairness."

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