Catholic Bishops from 16 countries in West Africa on Sunday in Abuja called on the political class to exert more effort to end insecurity, poverty and hunger in the sub-region.
The clerics made the call at the end of their 4th Plenary Assembly with the theme: “Fratelli Tutti: Path to build brotherhood and sustainable peace in West Africa.’’
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, His Grace, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, who spoke with newsmen, explained that matters of security, well-being of the people, and peaceful coexistence should not be toyed with
“We ask our politicians to talk less and do more. They talk a lot, promise a lot, campaign a lot, but do very little concretely to eliminate hunger, insecurity, diseases, and all that we suffer from.
“They must move from mere talking to action. All the differences, the prejudices, and stereotypes that divide us, should be addressed seriously,’’ he said.
He said that there was no part of Nigeria and other West African countries that did not have security challenges and admonished every citizen to look inwards and eschew evil.
“The problems have not diminished. They are still there, but our collective will to tackle them has not diminished either. When there is life, there is hope.
“We will, therefore, continue to talk, examine, and x-ray the problems before us. With goodwill and determination, we shall succeed.
“This is what we tell ourselves as bishops, priests, and all Christians. Let’s do something rather than cry and worry. Let’s actively do something concrete,’’ he stressed.
Kaigama also urged West Africans to take active part in building brotherhood and sisterhood in their countries.
In a pastoral message read during the closing Mass of the Plenary Assembly, the West African bishops noted that human fraternity was under serious threat.
The message was red during the homily by Archbishop Palmer Buckle, the Archbishop of Cape Coast
The bishops called on political and traditional leaders to renew their commitment to working for the welfare and wellbeing of citizens.
They appealed to those in leadership – traditional, political, business and women, public and civil servants, especially youths to stand together to defend the cherished values of family and brotherliness.
“As Africans, we have always lived for one another. We must rise, identify our gifts and use them to build bridges of friendship and love. God, who is the father of all of us, calls us to this,’’ the pastoral message read.
The News Agency or Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference began on May 2 and would end on May 9.