That Nigeria is still standing today despite the many challenges she is going through is attributed to the prayers of the faithful, who on daily basis are making supplications to God over the situation of things in the country. Many religious groups across the divides have remained vocal on the sufferings of the people, owing to the failure of government to provide good governance all these years. The situation of the country, indeed is not one anybody is proud of, even the leaders who were living in denials now know that there is fire on the mountain. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), as a body has remained steadfast in the call for equity and fairness in the society. The religious body believes that the only way to guarantee peace in a complex nation like Nigeria is through good governance that is targeted at the welfare of the greater number of the citizens. ”Good governance generates peace, which is the bedrock of development, and which takes root when people’s dignity and rights are respected; when there is rule of law; when citizens are not excluded from political participation; when there is equitable distribution of national resources and people are free from hunger, poverty and unemployment”.
The Catholic Bishops in this year’s Second Plenary Assembly held in Orlu, Imo State, among other things stated that ”Extreme poverty, soaring unemployment rate, spiraling inflation, a collapsing economy, with ever increasing debt burden and worsening insecurity have combined to complicate the plight of the average Nigerian.” The Nigerian, the body affirmed, appears condemned to a life of intolerable hardship and undeserved misery. ”The country has continued to bleed endlessly as a result of the ungodly activities of insurgents, bandits, militant herdsmen, unknown gunmen, kidnappers and trigger happy security agents. Nowhere seems safe anymore. Homes, farmlands, markets, highways, places of worship and presbyteries have all been turned into kidnapping and killing fields”. The CBCN also pointed, unfortunately, that in today’s Nigeria innocent citizens are butchered with savagery and brazen impunity by criminals who lack a sense of the sanctity of human life.
That the people of the country have not revolted against the government means that the citizens themselves have hope and want peace in their country. It is necessary therefore for government to work in concert with the spirits and letters of democracy in which case, the freedom of all is guaranteed and life made easy for the generality of all and sundry. Nigerians are becoming wiser and very sensitive nowadays of what is happening around them. They want to be included in the affairs of their own country because, except there is justice for everyone, no one is indeed free! In almost the eight years of this administration, hunger, insecurity and deprivations have remained the lot of the citizenry. The interesting thing is that, the people still have hope of escaping from these extremes due to the elections that is fast approaching. The onerous thing therefore, is for government to understand truly the feelings of the people this time and play according to the rule, before, during and after elections. What the people want is peaceful transition from democracy to democracy when the time beckons.
There is no geo political zone in the country that is not affected today by the challenges the country is going through. This time the people will resist and reject empty promises from politicians because our ears are heavy and we have heard enough. What people want instead is how to pull the country back on track for the common good. While we believe that the prayers offered by the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, whose conference just ended in Orlu, Imo State would atone for the sins of the country in many ways; it also underscores the urgent need for the government to listen to their wise counsel to save the country from greater danger as we have it today. Nigeria should be rescued from the dangerous bend she is currently into by doing what is right; as a government of the people, by the people and for the people; which is summary of what democracy is all about. We cannot continue to live in denial. The citizens are well aware of the antics and rhetoric of the politicians, especially at a time of electioneering. It is only good governance that can assuage the ill-feelings of the people and when that is enthroned, every other thing can be handled, and government would have less issues, either at the local, state or federal levels to contend with.