Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Catholic bishops under the umbrella of Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) have condemned in strong terms, the xenophobic attacks in South Africa against Nigerians and other non-nationals, who lost their lives and properties.
The position of the Catholic bishops is contained in a communique issued on Thursday night, at the end of their Second Plenary Meeting held in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.
The communique was jointly signed by the CBCN’s President and Secretary, Most. Rev. Augustine Akubeze and Most. Rev. Camillus Umoh, respectively.
The bishops, who equally frowned at the reprisal attacks on perceived South African investments in some parts of Nigeria, noting such step was not the best way to handle the issue, thumbed up the South African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) for being prophetic in their condemnation of the attack and urged the government to take decisive steps to end it.
“We pray for peaceful repose of those who lost their lives and sympathise with those who have suffered bereavement, sustained injuries and recorded heavy losses.
“We draw the attention of all nations to Deuteronomy 10:18 ‘He (God) defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner among you, give them food and clothing.’
“At the same time, we note that South Africa and Nigeria have come a long way in fraternal and diplomatic relations. We advise Nigerians living at home and abroad to be good and law-abiding,” the bishops stated in the communique.
At the home front, the bishops urged the Federal government to continue to do more in the fight against insecurity.
They also charged government at all levels to provide the enabling environment to enhance creation of job opportunities for the Nigerian youths.
“We reiterate that without adequate security of lives and property, there can be no stability and enabling environment for meaningful development.
“We urge government at all levels to provide the enabling environment that will make it possible for both the government and the private sector to create job opportunities for our teeming youths.
“This will certainly minimise the menace of insecurity in our land,” the communique submitted.