The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has appealed to the Federal Government to employ democratic measures to end the wave of agitation in some parts of the country.
This is contained in a communique issued at the end of the second plenary meeting of the conference in Jalingo on Friday.
The Communiqué was signed by the conference’ s President, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos Archdiocese and its Secretary, in anyBishop William Avenya of Boko Diocese.
The bishops also advised all aggrieved persons and groups across the country to employ peaceful means within the framework of the existing laws of the land to express their grievances.
The communique said that care must be taken by all to avoid actions and utterances capable of causing yet another armed coin any of its parts of the country.
“Our country is currently passing through a phase that is marked by tension, agitation and a general sense of hopelessness and dissatisfaction. This, we believe, is as a result of years of injustice, inequity, corruption and impunity.
“There are agitations in many sectors of the country against the lopsidedness in appointments into key institutions and sensitive national offices as well as marginalisation and unfair distribution of resources and amenities.
“We, therefore, urge government at all levels to engage the aggrieved sections of the citizenry in a conversation worthy of a democracy,” it stated.
The communique recalled President Muhammadu Buhari’s inaugural speech of May 29, 2015, where he pledged national integration and cohesion with his widely hailed statement, “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”.
It, however, noted that two years after, the reality on the ground and the verdict of most people across the country, irrespective of religious affiliations, ethnic or social groupings, point to the contrary.
According to the communique, the inability of the government to address the imbalances in the country has provided a breeding ground for violent reactions, protests and agitations across the country.
It, therefore, called on the government to urgently address the anomalies, by giving all a sense of belonging.
The bishops also decried the continuous killings, maiming, kidnapping and other atrocities committed against innocent people by armed herdsmen and urged the government to take prompt action to stop the onslaught.
The communique urged Nigerians not to lose hope in the country in spite of the challenges confronting them on a daily basis.
“Nigerians should rather continue to work for the good of all and for the unity and progress of the country,” it said.