Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has faulted the “lopsidedness in appointments into federal positions” noting that the trend had become a major source of concern.
President of the Conference, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, stated this, yesterday, at the official opening of the Second Plenary of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, hosted by the Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Akubeze, who is also the Archbishop of Benin City, said there was a need for the government to ensure the representation and integration of every section of the country in appointments into positions at the federal level.
He expressed concerns that Nigerians rejected “minimalistic approach” on the issue of appointments, calling for equity in the process in all government agencies.
“We have heard the government say that they have fulfilled the constitutional requirements of appointment, at least a minister from each state. This is a minimalistic approach and it does not fulfill the spirit of total integration of every Nigerian.
“No federal agency should be dominated by one groups that fails to reflect the diversity in our land. No federal agency should be dominated by one ethnic group or one religious group; Nigeria belongs to everyone of us.
“We must not allow established cultural hegemony, or a religious hegemony in a constitutional secular state like Nigeria. If we allow it, I can assure you that it is a recipe for disaster,” he said.
On the issue of insecurity, the Bishops decried the government’s lukewarm attitude towards resolving the challenge, saying slow or lack of prompt responses had made the crises unabated.
“Nigerians do not want to have a debate on the meaning of the word ‘defeated’, we are interested in living our lives peacefully without any fear of being kidnapped for ransom or being driven from our homeland.
“Nigerians do not want to be faced with the daily tasks of looking for security persons to escort them to their farms. Nigerians do not want to be afraid when they go to the market to sell or buy or when they go to Church or Mosque to pray.
“We are not asking the government for too much; we just want to live and care for our families. We want to be able to move freely in the country.
“Every government that fails to protect the constitutional rights of her citizens has failed. If the leaders of a country cannot ensure peace and security, they have no business using tax payers money to provide security for themselves and their families while the rest of Nigerians are dying daily,” Akubeze stated.
Speaking at the event, Professor Catherine Eromosele, identified the country’s weak economic system as one major factor responsible for acute poverty and incidence of suicide cases.