The Bishops said that the country had remained together just by the grace of God, adding that the survival of the nation was presently at stake.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the CBCN President, Archbishop Augustine Akubueze and the Secretary, Most Rev. Camillus Raymond Umoh in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to the statement, the country is falling apart due to serious rising insecurity clearly evident in widespread loss of lives and property triggered by the increasing number of bandits, Boko Haram, killer herdsmen and other criminal elements across the country.
The Bishops stressed that the insecurity had forced people to believe that those who have assumed the duty and authority to secure the nation are either unable or unwilling to take up the responsibilities of their office.
The CBCN called on relevant authorities to quickly address the situation, adding that time is running out and the situation needs to improve!
The statement reads in parts, “The clamour for self-defense is fast gaining ground. Many ethnic champions are loudly beating the drums of war, calling not only for greater autonomy but even for outright opting out of a nation in which they have lost all trust and sense of belonging. The calls for secession on an ethnic basis from many quarters should not be ignored or taken lightly.
“Many have given up on the viability and even on the desirability of the Nigeria project as one united country. No wonder many non-state actors are filling the vacuum created by a palpable failure of government.
“The Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari can no longer delay rising to its obligation to govern the nation; not according to ethnic and religious biases but along the lines of objective and positive principles of fairness, equity and, above all, justice.
“It is not too much for Nigerians to demand from Mr President sincerity both in the public and private domain. There are no more excuses.
“We, of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, with members from all parts of Nigeria, are very highly disturbed about the present state of instability in the land.
“This must not be allowed to continue to fester and degenerate. We are raising this alarm because of our deep patriotic love for our nation, not for any sectional interests, be they political, ethnic or even religious.
“Despite the persistence of crises around us; assassinations, Covid 19, kidnappings, murders, banditry, armed robberies, we sincerely affirm our faith in the viability and desirability of the Nigeria Project, as one prosperous nation under God.
“But we are also convinced that building such a nation, especially in our present circumstances, comes at a cost. We are also convinced that the alternative of tearing ourselves apart, comes with a cost that is far higher than what it takes to keep ourselves together.
“We must be ready to seek a common purpose with sincerity of mind. As individuals and as groups, we ought to be ready to make the necessary sacrifices that would enable us to manage our differences better and turn them into a positive rather than a negative force. Governments at different levels ought to lead the way”.
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