There is need for moral and ethical regeneration in all aspects of life in the Nigerian nation, the Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo has advocated. The Bishop made the observation in his message on the Diamond Jubilee celebration of the country’s Independence, titled: At 60, Nigerians Must Fight for Independence.
According to the bishop, Nigerians have only the cause to celebrate the grace of God because He has done more for the country than other countries; though those other countries have used the grace of God far better than Nigeria. Justifying that the country has nothing to celebrate per se on her Independence Diamond Jubilee anniversary, Bishop Badejo declared: “Even after sixty years, independent Nigeria is still a mirage, a mere mental construct, rendered even more unattainable by the multiplicity of problems that assail the country. The problems of insecurity, violence, insurgency, corruption, unemployment, crippling inflation and pervasive criminality, might still not eclipse the hopes of an independent Nigeria. The strength of the nation’s diversity and the combined force of its peoples could still overcome any challenge if the very leaders who should nurture the country’s cohesion were not working against it”.
The local ordinary of Oyo Diocese regretted that in her 60 years of existence as an Independent nation, Nigerians are still in shackles of suffering in all facets of life, a situation imposed on them by their own leaders who they voted for to rule them. According to him, Nigeria still lacks authentic independence, and Nigerians must fight for independence anew; and all hands must be on deck to achieve this.
He averred: “We must fight for independence from thieving leaders and politicians, corrupt civil servants and unionists, bloodthirsty terrorists and tribalists, economic mercenaries and religious bigots and all sorts of social miscreants who merely seek their own cut of the national cake at whatever price. We all must fight for a moral and ethical regeneration in the families, society and the country.
The bishop continued: “We must all oppose injustice and graft wherever they are found and fight for the rule of law applied equally to all. We must all do all we can to support one another in charity and solidarity to alleviate the sufferings of our co-nationals. We must make our leaders remember that the power of the people will always outlast the people in power.”
Speaking on the sad experience of lopsidedness of the administrative policies of the present Federal Government, Bishop Badejo noted that the actions of the President Buhari administration has been the opposite of the electoral promises of righting the wrongs of the nation, made to the people when the party came into power in 2015.
He identified the catalogue of failures of the administration to include lopsidedness and marginalization in appointments to public offices. His words: “The President has since put in place the most divisive regime of lopsidedness and marginalization in appointments and recruitments to favor the northern part of Nigeria. The latest evidence is in the recent lopsided appointments in the Nigerian Customs Service, a major parastatal in the country. In a barefaced manner and in such a multi religious and ethnically diverse country as Nigeria, seven senior positions there all went to Northern Muslims. This is to say the least, bizarre.”
Bishop Badejo queried the unusual silence of various bodies, like the Federal Character Commission and the National Assembly and other elite groups in the country on this brazen disrespect for the country’s constitution, justice and equity.
While calling on Nigerians to continue to pray for the country and a change of heart on the part of the political leaders, to do the right thing in order to make the country better, Bishop Badejo admonished President Muhammadu Buhari “to lead the charge for the restoration of equity, fairness and balance in appointments and recruitments in Nigeria in order to restore the federal character of Nigeria and the confidence of the people and so exploit the strength that can be found in national unity.”
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