Catholic bishops in Nigeria have called on political leaders not to rise above their selfish interest in discussing the issue of restructuring the nation.
The clerics under the aegis of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria noted that it is regrettable that an issue of such importance is being subjected to so much sentiments and personal interests.
The Ibadan Province of the body made the call on Wednesday in a communiqué signed by its President, the Most Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin.
The Ibadan Province comprises Ibadan, Ilorin, Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo and Osogbo Dioceses of the Catholic Church.
They further noted that there is a need to restructure the country to engender equity and justice.
The communique read in part, “The ongoing discourse about restructuring in Nigeria has gathered considerable momentum.
“In the process, different definitions have emerged on what restructuring could mean and what form such a process should take.
“It is regrettable that an issue of such importance that should be an issue of justice can be subjected to so much intellectual gymnastics, political sentiments and personal interests.
“Most people in Nigeria agree that as it is currently constituted, our country is simply not serving the development and self-realisation of most of its citizens and therefore needs to be revisited, the group stated.
The debate on restructuring has continued to generate debate among Nigerians, with several regions making their contributions, but government continues to downplay the subject.
In recognition of the agitations however, the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) has set up a committee led by Kaduna state governor, Nasir El’Rufai to educate Nigerians on its idea of restructuring.
The move comes on the heels of criticisms that the party is shying away from the subject matter, after many Nigerians argued that it was a cardinal campaign promise of the APC, which it was seemingly not addressing.
The bishops also condemned the recent killing in a Catholic church in Ozubulu, near Nnewi in Anambra.
.”We commiserate with the bishop of Nnewi Diocese, the government and people of Anambra State and several families directly affected by the mass murder which occurred on Sunday at St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Anambra State.
“We uphold still the sanctity of every human life given by God and not to be taken away by anyone and, therefore, can never denounce enough the evil of such a horrendous and callous killing of innocent worshippers right in the church during the holy mass.
“The bottom line is that the security situation in Nigeria remains at best, fragile. We strongly condemn whatever may be at the root of this and similar occurrences.
“Those that are charged with securing human lives and property in the nation must simply do more to protect the citizens. The proliferation of arms in Nigeria deserves urgent and decisive action.
“We call on all our faithful to pray that the souls of the departed may rest in perfect peace and that God may bring enduring peace to Nigeria”.
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