CAN, Catholic bishops have spoken out about the country’s deteriorating situation.


Archbishop Daniel Okoh, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has lamented the suffering of Nigerians due to the country’s harsh economic policies, the irresponsibility of its previous governments, and acts of banditry and kidnapping.

Okoh, speaking at the opening of the 2023 Second Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) in Abuja, yesterday, bemoaned that prices of basic necessities have skyrocketed beyond the reach of ordinary people, with no sign of relief in sight.


He urged political leaders to exercise compassion and godly fear in their leadership, saying that the lives of ordinary Nigerian families are worse than people realise.


Okoh, who was represented by General Secretary Apostle Samson Fatokun, emphasised the importance of involving government officials in the search for better solutions to the nation’s problems.


The recent arson of a Catholic church and the murder of a seminarian in Kafanchan Diocese, Kaduna State, were examples of the insecurity the country still faces, he told CBCN.


The CBCN claimed that the rising cost of food, transport, and other necessities was caused by the hasty and ill-planned removal of the fuel subsidy, the floating of the naira, and galloping inflation.


It claimed that the government’s efforts to provide relief after the subsidy was cut had not materially improved the lives of millions of Nigerians.


The Conference has also voiced its displeasure with a recent decision made by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), warning that the fate of the country is at stake as the cases make their way to the Supreme Court.


At the opening of the Assembly, CBCN President and Archbishop of Owerri Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji expressed the Conference’s regret that the difficult economic situation has forced people to continue to live in uncertainty.


“It is no less outrageous that at a time when millions of Nigerians are not sure of the next meal, N40 billion was allocated to members of the National Assembly for luxury cars, including bullet-proof vehicles for the leadership of the National Assembly, and another N70 billion was allocated for furniture and repairs of lawmakers’ offices,” he continued.


“National insecurity is still a serious issue for the States. Bandits, unknown gunmen, Fulani herdsmen, and Boko Haram militia continue to terrorise the populace, and the situation is deteriorating in many areas. There has been a rise in kidnappings demanding ransom. Criminals have taken complete control of some of our neighbourhoods. Constant sit-at-home orders issued by non-state actors in the southeast have only made the situation worse. For disobeying illegal orders, many have paid the ultimate price.


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