– The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria called on President Buhati to look into the deployment of soldiers to the southeast
– It warned that this deployment can spark social unrest
– It however, commended him for the success recorded in the fight against Boko Haram
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of going against his promise and treating some Nigerians as unequal.
The Cable reports that this was contained in a communique issued by Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, president of the CBCN in Taraba.
The group said: “In his inaugural speech as civilian president of Nigeria on 29 May 2015, the president sent out a message of hope and of his commitment to national integration and cohesion.
“He said: ‘Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians. I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody. A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores.’
“More than two years later, the reality on ground and the verdict of most of our people across the nation – irrespective of religious affiliation, ethnic group or social status – point to the contrary. The inability of the government to address the inequitable situation in the country has provided breeding ground for violent reactions, protests and agitations, which exploit the grievances of different segments of the country.
“We call on government at all levels to urgently address these anomalies, remove everything that smacks of injustice, and give everybody and every part of our country a sense of belonging.
“We insist that merit and ability should be the primary criteria in making appointments and genuine needs the criteria for the distribution of amenities. We also urge the government to be always sensitive to the multi-religious and multi-ethnic configuration of the nation.”
The group also expressed reservation over the deployment of soldiers saying it could ignite unrest in some parts of the country.
“On the other hand, we enjoin all aggrieved persons and groups to employ peaceful means within the framework of the existing laws of the land to express their grievances or even exercise legitimate pressure on the Government. Care must be taken by all to avoid actions and utterances capable of causing yet another armed conflict in the nation or any of its parts,” it said.
The bishops commended the Buhari administration for successes recorded in the fight against corruption, curtailing activities of Boko Haram and the release of some of the Chibok girls.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian army’s ongoing Operation Python Dance campaign in the southeast, was condemned by the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC).
According to reports, the group made its comments in a statement signed on Thursday, September 14, by its publicity secretary, Yinka Oguntimehin.
Describing the campaign as an “obvious attempt to arrest the growing influence of the Nnamdi Kanu led Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB),” the group stated that instead of employing military tactics to address the IPOB issue, the federal government should rather engage in dialogue with the pro-Biafra group.