62nd anniversary: Don’t stop believing in a better Nigeria, Bishop tells citizens

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BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

Uba Group

The Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Oyo, Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo, has urged Nigerians not to stop believing in a better Nigeria and that they should seize the general elections next year to demand integrity, accountability, and commitment to fair, good governance from all contestants.

As political parties have commenced campaigns ahead of the 2023 general elections, he urged Federal and State Governments against abandoning governance, rather, they should proffer solutions to challenges confronting the country before next regime.

The bishop made these known on Friday, in his message to mark the 62nd anniversary of Nigeria.

In the message entitled: “Nigeria at 62: Working For a New Dawn,” and made available to The Point, the prelate asked political leaders to be multitasking even while the campaign season is ongoing, adding that there are some challenges confronting the nation that government should quickly resolve even before the next regime takes over.

According to Badejo, the prolonged industrial action embarked upon by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was tragic and urged both the Federal Government and the striking lecturers to shift ground ad resolve the issue so that students could return to their schools.

The cleric said, “Nigeria and Nigerians deserve a new burst of hope as we celebrate another anniversary of the country’s independence. Happy birthday, Nigeria! The numerous challenges we face need no re-enumeration I call on all Nigerians, let us re-focus our energies on charting the new dawn ahead of us.

“The campaign period has opened towards national elections in February 2023. All of us politicians and citizens must save Nigeria standing at this tipping point and behave accordingly. Most Nigerians today are angry and frustrated by one thing or the other; the ASUU strike, insecurity, crippling economy, bad roads, poor governance etc. Solving the ASUU strike is a priority and ASUU and government must shift grounds and avoid any arm-twisting techniques that only worsen the situation.

“Government must find a way to solve this for it is already very tragic that the universities have stayed shut for so long. To allow this to continue in this campaign era is to invite trouble from restive and angry youths. I also urge our leaders, the executive, legislature and also INEC to get on the side of equity, truth and justice and rehabilitate this crumbling country.

“Our leaders must not suspend governance because of the campaign season. Some challenges can simply not wait for the next regime. Government must be multitasking and proffer solutions even as campaigns are ongoing. Politicians must commit to non-violence and learn to disagree without being disagreeable so as not to set fire to the tinder of public disaffection all around. They must sincerely embrace the rule of law and avoid double speak. Politicking must be mutually respectful and shun false and hate rhetoric which heat up the polity.

“Finally, I exhort the electorate: this is your time, seize it and demand integrity, accountability, and commitment to fair, good governance from all contestants. Let all civil society organizations support the new energy for positive change which is enveloping our country especially our youths. Our citizens must demand an issue-based campaign from aspiring leaders, and exercise their civic rights. This includes voting at the elections and holding elected leaders accountable after elections. We must never stop believing in a better Nigeria!”