Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Catholic Bishops in the north have identified injustice perpetrated by political leaders as the major cause of unrest and crisis in Nigeria.
The Bishops urged government to work towards the promotion of peace and unity among citizens.
Archbishop of Kaduna Diocese, Dr. Mathew Man-oso Ndagoso, who spoke on the promotion of injustice in governance by political leaders, described it as an ailment that had robbed the nation of the peace and unity required in advancing the development and growth of Nigeria.
Ndagoso had led the Bishops of Sokoto, Zaria, Minna, Kano and the administrator of Kafanchan in the celebration of mass organised for hundreds of victims of Kajuru crisis and their families. He urged the Federal Government to also ensure political and socio-economic stability in the country.
The Northern Catholic bishops made a donation of N2.5 million to victims and also supported Fulani communities with financial assistance.
Said Ndagoso: “We all know the story of Kajuru local government crises, especially within the last year and the two quarters of this year, we knew what happened. If there is problems between farmers and herders, it is not for us as religious leaders to take side.
“Ours is to say the truth and ensure justice is done to everybody. And we all know that we are where we are in this country because of inequality, simply because people are treated differently in terms of the provisions of infrastructural facilities.
“And so, where there are disparities and people are treated unequally, there are bound to be problems. So, this is where we stand as religious and Catholic leaders. Our own is to give hope and also strengthen the people.”
The catholic clerics had visited the Fulani communities where they urged leaders to join hands with their Christian neighbours to promote peace and the development of the state.
Archbishop Ndagoso Ndagoso spoke with journalists after the mass saying, “as church leaders, it is our duty to give hope, console and give joy in all circumstances of life to the families of victims of the crisis.
“I can tell you that if you dig deep down it is not only the crisis in Kajuru, it is not only the crisis in the north or Niger Delta. Most of these things are hinged on injustice.
“When the Niger Delta boys were struggling to emancipate their people, money was being lifted, dollars were being harvested from their own territory. Meanwhile, the whole area was polluted, destroyed and fishermen lost their means of livelihood as a result of pollution. Yet, they see resources being carted away out of their areas.
“And here in the north, you can see it happening also. People’s lands are being taken away, ancestral lands being occupied and there is threat here and there. And nothing has been done by the government to ameliorate the plight of the people. It is the duty of government to protect the interests of every citizen. You see, the budget given by governments in every state is based on the population of the people and for their common good. Therefore, everyone in the state is entitled to the provision of good amenities.
“But, you see it openly that resources are being channeled to communities favoured by political leaders to the detriment of others. What government can do is to ensure there is justice in governance. Once they are able to address the problem of injustice, peace would come naturally in the country.”
Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Dr. Mathew Hassan Kukah who addressed families, relations and others at Saint Augustine Catholic Church, Kufana in Kajuru Local Government Area, said the violence that occurred in the area “should teach Nigerians a great lesson not to entrust their faith in politicians, but God.”