By Charles Opara
Catholic bishops in Nigeria have asked the Federal Government to bring to book all public officers genuinely identified to have looted the treasury in the past.According to them, Nigerians must transcend ethnic, religious and regional affiliations and sentiment to guarantee sustainable success in the fight against corruption.
The bishops, who spoke under the umbrella of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), said in a communiqué in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, that Nigerians who were found to have “either stolen or recklessly used the national wealth must be compelled to make comprehensive restitution”.
The conference ended last weekened with the communiqué signed by the CBCN President, The Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, and the Secretary, Most Rev. William Avenya.
It was made available yesterday in Ado Ekiti by the Bishop of Ekiti Catholic Diocese, the Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye.
The bishops also advocated for a drastic reduction in the cost of governance to address the massive poverty in the land and make government more responsive to the yearnings of Nigerians.
The bishops urged Nigerians to eschew personal interest, political vendetta and bitterness in the fight against corruption.
They described as a welcome development government’s determination to make the fight against corruption and insurgency central to its programme.
“We affirm that the war against corruption is not just a battle for virtue and righteousness in our land but a fight for the soul and substance of our nation.”
“This is a collective responsibility that requires our collective efforts. All
Nigerians should be part of this struggle, which ought to be carried out at all levels, in order that we may recover our wasted opportunities.”
“Those with the mandate to facilitate this process should be guided by a true sense of justice and act in accordance with the rule of law,” the bishops said.