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Aug 14, 2020


Catholic Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ibadan, have called for
more proactive actions on the part of government to address the challenges
of persistent insecurity and corruption in the country. In addition, they
advocated collaboration between the government, the Church and leaderships
of other stakeholder groups in the country, to safe the country from the
vices that are rampaging the land.

The Bishops made the call in a Communiqué entitled: *Coping in these
Difficult Times*, issued at the end of their Provincial Meeting held
recently at the M and M Pastoral Centre, Ilorin, Kwara State. While
expressing solidarity with the government and the people on the challenges
facing the country, especially the Corona Virus disease pandemic, the
Bishops expressed dismay that: “things have remained the same and the
changes in political, social economic and religious life have brought
unprecedented hardship to many.”

According to the Bishops; “Nigeria is still plagued by a series of security
challenges: corruption, terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, ethnic clashes,
extra-judicial killings and more recently, rape”; adding that: “Even as
government and the security agencies at different levels claim to grapple
with these challenges, the problems all seem to be hydra-headed monsters,
reappearing as often as they seem subdued.”

They continued: “There is anxiety in the land. Nigeria cannot continue to
operate a system that seems to be faulty and leaky and clearly needs to
restructure its security apparatus and methods. There is definitely, anger,
disillusionment and despondency in the land. A major cause of these is the
seeming unconquerable report of corruption in practically every facet of
life especially at the highest levels of governance.”

The Bishops therefore appealed to the government, institutions and
individuals who mean well for Nigeria to cooperate and collaborate to
reduce the despair and tension that have led many Nigerians into
criminality. Other areas which the Bishops said could help improve the
security situation of the country and should be given prominent attention
by government include: job creation, federalism, prompt prosecution of
those who run afoul of the law, and the application of the rule of law
without discrimination etc. They called on all Christians to be exemplary
in all facets of life and do the right thing at all times; including
fighting corruption within their own spheres of influence, curbing the
unnecessary loss of lives which has become a daily occurrence in Nigeria.

On the Corona Virus pandemic situation, the Bishops commended all health
workers and others at the frontline of combating the diseases; appreciated
government efforts at providing facilities to fight the disease, and the
people for persevering amidst the challenges and pains brought by the
advent of the disease. They called on the people to continue to observe
the laid-down regulations to prevent the spread of the disease noting that
“Good health is wealth and protecting human life is a sacred duty.”

Other areas addressed by the Bishops in the communiqué include: the
reopening of places of worship and schools, the dignity of women and the
crime of rape and the scope of collaborative ministry in the Church. The
communiqué was signed by Most Rev. Gabriel ‘Leke Abegunrin, Archbishop of
Ibadan and Most Rev. John Oyejola, Bishop of Osogbo Diocese, President and
Secretary of the Provincial Conference respectively. The Ecclesiastical
Province comprises of: Ibadan Archdiocese, Ilorin, Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo and
Osogbo Dioceses.

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