In a bid to address the glaring irregularities that marred the 2023 general elections, Catholic Bishops from the Owerri Ecclesiastical Province have implored the Judiciary to intervene and safeguard Nigeria’s democracy.
Gathering at the Umuahia Diocesan Secretariat, the Bishops expressed profound disappointment in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for failing to uphold its commitment to ensuring a credible electoral process. Their concerns were articulated in a communiqué following the meeting.
Highlighting their concerns, the Bishops accused INEC of collaborating with corrupt politicians, casting doubt on the integrity of the electoral proceedings. The Bishops’ communiqué underscored the crucial role the Judiciary must play to restore faith in the democratic process:
“The hope, at the moment, is that the judiciary will rise up to the challenge and rescue our ailing democratic experiment,” the statement read.
In a bid to assess the damage caused by the fuel subsidy removal, the Bishops expressed deep concern for the hardships faced by Nigerians. While acknowledging the Federal Government’s attempt to implement “palliative” measures, the Bishops noted that these actions have yet to provide substantial relief to the populace.
The Bishops also drew attention to the crippling impact of recurring sit-at-home orders in the South East. These orders, intended as a form of protest, have inadvertently led to the disruption of daily life and significant economic setbacks. The Bishops appealed to the region’s residents to seek non-violent means of addressing their concerns, emphasizing that the current path only worsens the situation.
Despite the challenges faced, the Bishops called on Nigerians not to lose hope, but rather to persevere in their pursuit of a better future. They encouraged citizens to remain dedicated to the principles of equity, justice, and peace, highlighting the potential for a united effort to lead Nigeria towards progress and transformation.
“As your spiritual leaders, we still call upon all the good-willed and patriotic citizens of Nigeria to continue to work for the common good of all Nigerians on that same note of equity, justice, and peace,” the Bishops’ communiqué affirmed. “With a critical mass of caring and concerned citizens, we can overcome our present pains and liabilities, and move Nigeria forward to a better and healthier nation than it presently is.”
The Bishops’ message resonates with a call for unity and concerted efforts to restore confidence in Nigeria’s democracy and address the pressing challenges faced by the nation.