The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, CSN has expressed worry on the state of the Nigerian nation, as they stated that the country seems to be on the brink of collapse, owing to hostilities and conflicts of different sizes and magnitudes all around the place. This was made known in a joint statement by the CSN Departments of Church and Society and Pastoral Affairs tagged, “The 2023 general elections in Nigeria and the imperatives of citizens’ active participation”, signed by Rev. Frs. Uchechukwu Obodoechina, Director, Church and Society and Executive Secretary, Caritas Nigeria; Michael Banjo, Director, Pastoral Affairs and Deputy Secretary General, CSN and Zachariah Samjumi, Secretary General, CSN. Condemning the spate of insecurity in the country, the group noted that the recent attack on innocent worshippers at St. Francis, Owo, Ondo State has brought another dimension to the carnage going on in the country.
Speaking on food scarcity and high rate of inflation in the land, CSN noted that the government seems to be overwhelmed by hunger and destitution among the people, adding that the political class is deeply engaged in alignments for new political positions in the forthcoming political dispensation, as millions of naira are being expended on the political process. On the situation of education in the country, the statement read: “Most of the Nigerian universities have been on strike for the past three months without the government being able to resolve the impasse with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) across the country. In that way, the teaching and learning in our universities have been impaired, leaving the Nigerian youth without a sense of direction and purpose. Is there any wonder there are cases of criminality, violence and unwholesome activities among the youths today? “In the light of the foregoing, the Church, as a ‘teacher and mother’, continues to toe the path of peace and justice; exhorting the government and the state actors to rise to their bounden duties of protecting life and property.”
The CSN called for citizens’ active participation in the 2023 general elections, as they urged eligible voters to obtain their PVCs which is the instrument that enables them to participate in the democratic process of choosing their political leaders. They commended the priests who through different legitimate means have encouraged the faithful entrusted in their care to acquire their PVCs, adding that in the bid to encourage the faithful to obtain their PVCs, utmost care must be taken not to deprive the people of those means that Christ, through the Church, has made available for the nourishment and salvation of their souls. The group hailed the decision of the Federal High Court in Abuja stopping INEC from ending voters’ registration on June 30, 2022, as they made recommendations which includes parishes engaging in continuous voter education among other ways of encouraging the people to obtain their PVCs.