Religious leaders lament hardship in Nigeria, move to employ jobless worshippers

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RELIGIOUS LEADERS

Some religious leaders in the country have lamented worsening hardship among citizens.

They called on the nation’s leaders to do something concrete in tackling hunger and poverty among Nigerians.

In a bid to address hardship ravaging the country and also to practicalise the mission of charity, which is an essential part of the work of evangelization and the Church’s mandate, Catholic bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province have called for meaningful engagements of the poor and indigent in the province.

The bishops asked the Justice Development and Peace Commissions, Caritas, St. Vincent de Paul societies of the Church, other Charity groups and well-meaning individuals in Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province to provide employment for the unemployed and poor members of the Church in order to make them contribute meaningfully to the society.

This was made known in a communiqué issued by the province comprising Ibadan Archdiocese, Ilorin, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti and Osogbo Dioceses, after their first meeting for 2024 at the Jubilee Conference Centre, Ibadan between February 5 and 6, 2024.

The clerics, in the communiqué titled, “Nigeria: In Desperate Need for Restoration,” and signed by their Chairman, Most Rev ‘Leke Gabriel Abegunrin and Secretary, Most Rev John Akin Oyejola urged all and sundry to be their brothers keepers.

According to the Chief Shepherds, “The injunction of Jesus to us to love one another must assume fresh relevance among us Nigerians today. It must apply to leaders and the led alike. All who are in positions of authority however have a higher responsibility because there shall be a verdict of history, a day of reckoning. We urge them and all privileged people not to relent in their effort to work for positive transformation in Nigeria.

“Government must upgrade the ongoing “governance by palliatives” to governance that promotes productivity, accountability and which provides essential infrastructure like power supply and jobs for the populace.

“It is better to teach people to fish than to give them fish from time to time, especially because Nigerians are among the most industrious people in the world. This would be an effective way to limit the “japa syndrome,” which is the forced exodus of our best brains from our shores to greener pastures. We thank a few among our leaders who are clearly doing their best to make a change for the better in their various capacities.

“We call on our Justice Development and Peace Commissions, our Caritas, St. Vincent de Paul, our church societies, other Charity groups and our faithful in Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province to do more to provide employment and help the poor and indigent among us.

“The mission of charity is an essential part of the work of evangelization and the Church’s mandate. The Church and her organs have very limited resources but must continue to bear witness to the mandate of mercy from Jesus which says: “Blessed are the merciful; they shall have mercy shown to them.” (Matt. 5:7).”