The Catholic Bishops in Nigeria have commended the Government for initiating processes towards reforming the national Constitution handed down by the military Government.

The bishops made the call at the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) held in Abuja.

The bishops via a statement issued by the Outgoing President of CBCN, Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze, said: “We thank the Government for initiating processes towards reforming our national Constitution handed down by the military Government.

“We urge the legislature and the executive to exercise their relevant roles to give the nation an adequate Constitution that reflects our common aspiration to live in unity, justice, and peace.

“We commend the efforts of the National Assembly, the President, and all who made it possible for our country to now have a reformed electoral law, the Electoral Act 2022.

“We gladly welcome the adoption of modern technology to improve the quality of our electoral process and encourage good and qualified people with the right intention to vie for political offices.

“We ask all eligible citizens to secure their voter’s cards and come out en masse to vote for those who can lead our people to a better life.

“We also urge the electoral commission and other relevant bodies to organize and promote appropriate voter education.”

“We observe a gross lack of job opportunities, equity, gender balance between male and female, good moral standards, an adequate justice system, transparency, and accountability.”

They also called on governments at all levels to respect and protect people’s fundamental rights and shun all forms of ethnoreligious favoritism.

The bishops said: “We encourage all citizens to participate in the forthcoming national population census exercise to help Government have the data needed for proper policies that will aid development.

 

They also called for dialogue and friendship to counter violence and insecurity in Nigeria, advising Catholics to use the Lenten period for more of such prayers.

Similarly, they urged the media to be alive to their responsibilities.

“We firmly acknowledge the role and power of the media for influencing and creating a fraternity of humanity and serving as tools of positive social friendship.

“The media in themselves are gifts from God for the good of the society.

“However, the media are sometimes manipulative and destructive.

“In Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis calls for the use of media in a manner that not only connects people but also builds bridges, develops authentic interpersonal relationships, and therefore builds community.

“We nevertheless caution against the inappropriate use of digital media platforms.”

The Catholic Bishops said they had instituted a Communications Week (COMWEEK) to facilitate the attainment of the above objectives of the media.

“We call on the different segments of the particular Churches in Nigeria, the media organs, and pastoral agents to work closely with the National Directorate of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria.

“We will ensure that the media literacy program scheduled to run in our Parishes from May 22 to May 29 this year is successful (comweeknigeria.com).

“All Catholics and non-Catholics are also requested to log on to the Nigeria Catholic Network (nigeriacatholicnetwork.com) for synergy and pastoral guidance,” the communique quotes the Catholic Bishops as saying.

 

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