Why Catholic Bishops Meet With Jonathan
The country’s Catholic bishops under the aegis of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on Thursday reportedly visited President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja.
The Catholic bishops, who were led by its president, Bishop Ignatius Kaigama, told the President that ‘all is not well with the country,’ the Punch reports.
According to him, the people they were supposed to look after as spiritual fathers are being kidnapped or displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency, which has now turned the members into refugees in their home land, said that was their message to the President.
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“We feel that things are not right. Territorially, our land is being taken away; the people we look after are displaced, their homes, their villages and towns are captured and they are internally displaced, being refugees in their own land. We thought this is not right. We have families that are just stranded. We thought that the President should know. As Catholics, we have laid a good structure for relief and taking care of such situation, we want the government to collaborate with us,” he said.
The bishops President further hinted that the meeting with the President was based on the bishops’ concerns about the security situation in the country as well as the political scenario. He revealed that the meeting was also geared towards reminding the Mr. President of what he already knows about.
“We just wanted to remind him of things he already knows, there was nothing we said that was new, we just wanted to lay emphasis and we wanted him to know we are concerned. The President is already doing his bit; he has assured us that he is on top of the situation. They are reviewing strategies and all that and by the grace of God this terrorism that we are witnessing will soon be a thing of the past. This is the assurance we are coming away with,” Kaigama said.
Kaigama also disclosed that the delegation urged the President to include them in the process of registering displaced people due to their knowledge.
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“So, we are telling government that we are aware of the wonderful effort they do, the relief they give through NEMA and other agencies, the effectiveness of the distribution is our concern. We are here with long years of experience, as a Catholic church we don’t discriminate, in fact 90 per cent of the people we give relief to are not Christians or even Catholics, so we should be brought on board,” he said.
It would be recalled that on September 29, 2014, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) expressed its displeasure over the state of insecurity in the country, lamenting its increase in the North Eastern region.