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Nigeria Almost At Verge Of Total Collapse -Catholic Bishops

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has raised alarm over the current state of affairs in Nigeria, saying that the West African nation is almost at the verge of total collapse.

President of the CBCN, Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze made the observation in his goodwill message on the occasion of the 60th Independence Day anniversary of the country, addressed to all the faithful of the Church in the country; and other Nigerians, on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference.

Archbishop Akubeze lamented that in her 60 years of existence as an independent nation, Nigeria has nothing to show for it, especially in the area of making life worth living for majority of Nigerians.

According to him, after 60 years of independence, Nigeria is still very much in great distress, and  it has been six decades of independence enmeshed in daily killings of innocent citizens by criminals of different categories, including the Boko Haram insurgents.

He added that many Nigerians cannot afford to eat or live comfortably, amidst plenty of natural resources and human endowments, while the Covid-19 pandemic has further crippled the already poor Nigerian economy.

The CBCN president further listed the catalogue of woes that have afflicted the country, which in his opinion, has made the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee unnecessary in the first place.

 “It is just unimaginable and inconceivable to celebrate Nigeria at 60 when our roads are not safe; our people are kidnapped, and they sell their properties to pay ransom to criminals. Nigerians are experiencing an invasion of their farmlands by armed Fulani-herdsmen; a group well organised and already designated as the fourth deadliest terrorists’ group in the world by the Global Terrorism Index”, he said. .

Archbishop Akubeze further observed that Nigerians from almost all geographical regions seem to agree that there is urgent need to start working on restructuring the country.

He however pointed out that the present political party leading Nigeria, the All Progressive Congress (APC), campaigned to attend to the issue of restructuring, sharing of resources, and a constitutional amendment if Nigerians voted them into power.

“It is somewhat regrettable that the Federal Government of Nigeria has not kept to its electoral promises. State Governors, Senators, Federal House of Representatives Members must all work towards ensuring restructuring of Nigeria. Nigeria is almost at the verge of total collapse”, he added.

He also noted that the rate of unemployment is growing, adding that  there seems to be no clear plan to fix the economy as well as help the private sector to grow so that many of the Nigerian youths can be employed.

“The inadequate facilities in many of our public tertiary institutions are further hampering the intellectual and human skill acquisition of the graduates from these institutions”, he stressed.

The CBCN president  added that many Nigerians have observed the rate at which the Federal and State Governments are borrowing with colossal interest to be paid back, noting that the country is presently servicing its debt with a significant amount of revenue.

He further noted that the present state of the country clearly shows “we are legally independent but factually dependent upon our financial lenders”.

He also expressed concern about the conduct of elections in the country, noting that there is still a lot of work to be done in reforming the electoral process.

 “We are yet to reform our electoral act to the state of ensuring that Nigerians are genuinely interested in voting and that the votes will count in determining those who lead us”, he added.

Archbishop Akubeze equally decried the plight of many Nigerians, particularly those with a minimum wage of N30, 000 to provide for their families and also bear the brunt of increase of electricity tariff in spite of the epileptic situation of supply and also contend with the recent removal of fuel subsidy by the government.

He however, noted that the transformation of Nigeria into a great nation is the collective responsibility of all Nigerians, irrespective of status, religion or ethnic differences.

 “Let us continue to pray for a transformation of Nigeria. We must begin this transformation from within, from ourselves. Each one of us must learn to eschew every form of corruption, indiscipline, praising of corrupt leaders or giving of awards to those who have bankrupt Nigeria.

“We must stop the praise-singing of politicians who have failed us. We must stop patronising mediocrity. We must begin to reward hard work. To survive as a nation, we must have a collective desire to build the country. Selective appointments that do not reflect the ethnic and religious diversity of Nigeria is a recipe for disaster”, he warned.

He said the minimalistic approach to the quota system is a disservice to the nation, adding that any serious government would want every part of the nation to know that they are stakeholders in decision making in the country.

Nigerians, according to him, are not asking for too much, they are just asking for justice, fairness in appointments of people to Federal offices.

He further called on all Nigerians not to despair in the face of the daunting challenges facing the country but put their trust in God, who will never disappoint His children.

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