From: Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The Catholic Bishop of Maiduguri Diocese, Most Rev. Oliver Dashe, has said President Mohammadu Buhari was a lone ranger in his anti-corruption crusade.
The clergy said that the President’s war on graft is without much support from others in his government including his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The bishop also expressed concern over the increasing attacks on people and clashes supposedly by Fulani herdsmen in different parts of the country.
According to him, “Nobody is in doubt about the sincerity of President Buhari to fight corruption. We do not need to be told about the president’s unwavering commitment to kick out this monster from our country and bring perpetrators to book but the president is alone in this war, even most of his party members in APC are not with him on this page of anti-corruption war,” Dashe told newsmen at a press conference in Maiduguri, on Thirsday.
It was in preparation for the 50th Golden Jubilee anniversary of Maiduguri Diocese of the Catholic Church. He urged Nigerians to support the president and not politicise the anti-graft war.
He maintained most of the attacks could be politically-motivated.
He continued, “Where is the attacks coming from. Are they from same Fulani people that we have been living with for ages or is it not possible some people are behind this development for political gains?” the cleric asked. He asked the Federal government to tackle the challenge “decisively.”
He noted that unity was essential to the growth of Nigeria even as he urged Nigerians to be tolerant of their religious and ethnic diversities. He urged religious leaders to play active role in reuniting the people in their various domain.
While commenting on the impact of the nearly seven years Boko Haram insurgency on the Catholic Community in the northeast, Bishop Dashe said over 80,000 members, 40 Reverend Sisters and scores of priests were displaced through many attacks and raids on churches and communities. He said a total of 250 churches were destroyed by Boko Haram in the diocese which comprise Borno, Yobe and parts of Adamawa states largely affected by the insurgency.
He urged people affected by the crisis to imbibe spirit of forgiveness. He said forgiveness was essential in the post-insurgency era to rebuild confidence and togetherness which the violence has eroded.
“We need to forgive one another even those who killed our loved ones. We must begin to see the violence as a way of bringing us together once more and not to revenge or avenge the killing of our loved ones by Boko Haram especially those of them ready to repent,” he said.
He commended the Borno State governor for “giving the Christians in the state voice, rebuilding churches and appointing more Christians in government in a Muslim dominated state.” He canvassed for the inclusion of the Catholic Church in the rebuilding of the northeast by the Federal Government.