Government at all levels in the country have been advised to take constructive criticisms from well-meaning Nigerians in good faith; using same as catalyst for better service delivery to the people in identified areas of lapses, and make life worth living for the people.
The advice was given by President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and Metropolitan of Benin City Archdiocese, Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze, in his remarks at the burial of the Archbishop Emeritus of Kaduna Archdiocese, Most Rev. Peter Yariyok, in Kaduna recently.
While praying for the repose of the soul of the late Archbishop, the CBCN President expressed concern at the spate of insecurity in the country and expressed gratitude to God for the protection he has been giving to Nigerians.
His words: “We know that the level of insecurity in the country is high. The people of Nigeria are killed daily by bandits, cattle rustlers, Boko haram, herdsmen, kidnappers and various criminal elements that our security agents have not been able to deal with. We pray God to grant eternal rest to all who have died in the hands of these criminals, and pray for the conversion of these evil persons. We rejoice with Bishop Moses Chikwe, the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Owerri; his drivers and all others who have gained their freedom back.”
The Archbishop continued: “We also join our voices to many courageous religious leaders, Catholics and non-Catholics who have spoken out against the government performance in the area of insecurity in Nigeria. To the Federal Government of Nigeria, let it be known to you that openness to objective criticism is a sign of maturity. Many critics of Government mean well for the Government. There are no religious leaders who will want the Government to fail, neither are there genuine religious leaders who truly feel the pain of their people who will keep quiet when the life and property of the people are not secured.”
The local ordinary of Benin City urged government to listen to the cries of Nigerians and take them seriously “when we cry for a secured life; when we asked for good opportunity for every Nigerians; when we ask for inclusion of every parts of the country in the governance of Nigeria and not just a minimalistic approach to fulfilling constitutional quotas of representation.”
Archbishop Akubeze added: “As we speak and constructively criticise the Federal Government, we assure the Government of our prayers and collaboration in seeking to build a nation where justice and peace reign. Where prosperity for everyone is achieved. This was what Archbishop Peter Jatau worked and fought for. All of us must continue the fight for justice and peace for everyone in our land.”
Speaking on the life and times of Archbishop Jatau, the CBCN President described the deceased as a great ecclesiastical faithful Bishop, who was “filled with total dedication to the Church; preached as a priest for over 57 years and as a bishop for over 48 years”.
He added: “. He was very close to the people and his priests. His death at the age of 89 sets him apart as one of those who belong to a few groups who exceeded the life expectancy in almost all the countries in the world. The faithful of Kaduna will never forget him. The Church in Nigeria will never forget him. The Church in the World will never forget this great Nigerian. He governed as a bishop with true father-compassion. For all the good works he did on earth, we pray to God to accept them and welcome him to the heavenly home he so desire and longed for.”
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