EXCERPTS FROM THE COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF NIGERIA
THEME: DO NOT BE AFRAID, DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED” (Deut 31:8).
DATE: 6 To 14 SEPTEMBER, 2018.
VENUE: PINNACLE GUEST INN AND RESORT, SOKOTO, SOKOTO STATE.
By: Rev. Fr. Benjamin Jolasun.
In the face of the prevailing crisis, tensions and anxiety, all Nigerians are invited to put their trust in God, while working hard to build a harmonious and peaceful nation. Deu. 31:8 is a message of assurance.
The thousands of our internally displaced compatriots should be helped by the Government to return to their homes and their land restored to them as quickly as possible and the life and property of every Nigerian citizen should be defended.
Governments at all levels should respect the rights of citizens and groups to practise their religions unhindered.
All should avoid acts of religious fanaticism in order to promote peaceful co-existence and harmony. Religion is a matter of conviction, not coercion.
All forms of pursuit of national interest should be guided by the rule of law and respect for human dignity and development. The legislatures are to enact good laws and abrogate bad ones, so as to ensure order, safety, good conduct and safeguard the Common Good and judiciary should not allow itself to be used as an instrument of subjugation, oppression, discrimination, and injustice.
As we look forward to the elections of 2019, all registered voters are encouraged to ensure that they are equipped with their voter’s card, reject and denounce the illegal practices of selling and buying of votes.
Let all be attentive to the aspirations of the young people, especially those among them who are poor, internally displaced, victims of exploitation, orphans, and migrants. The evils of human trafficking, slavery, drug abuse, war, disease, disability, and illiteracy should be shunned and eradicated.
In the face of the trying moment for the Church, Clergy and Religious should be mindful of their obligation to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven (Matt: 19:12, Can. 277, 1).
It is still possible for all Nigerians to join hands across religious, ethnic and political divides in order to build one, united and robust Nation that all of us would be proud of.
Rev. Fr. Zachariah SAMJUMI of the Catholic Diocese of Yola is the new Secretary General for the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria.
Church at various levels, parishes and families, should intensify the daily recitation of the Holy Rosary, practice other forms of devotion to save our country and continue say the “Prayer for Nigeria in Distress,” especially as we approach the Election Year. There is power in Prayer.