Abuja – The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan,has urged the Federal Government to remain steadfast in restoring Nigeria to the path of sanity, probity and accountability.
Onaiyekan said this at the opening ceremony of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), held at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja.
“This is not a smooth and easy process we all are going through, but we need to go beyond the legal processes, to a serious national moral spiritual rebirth.
“We need to explore alternative and parallel strategies, based on the moral principles of repentance, reparation and reconciliation,” he said.
He assured the government that the Catholic Church and some other religious groups of like minds, were prepared to play a positive role in the on-going war against corruption.
Onaiyekan recalled the efforts of the Church towards eliminating corruption, with the help of prayers, warnings and exhortations.
“We have to put concrete structures of collaboration in place in the on-going war against corruption.
“The religious institutions of the nation cannot remain aloof while a moral spiritual battle is raging in the country,” he added.
Onaiyekan also commended the government for the success recorded so far in the fight against the Boko-Haram insurgents.
“It is hoped that the alleged criminal diversion of funds meant for arms into private pockets has now stopped.
“Our gallant troops must never again be left with inadequate resources to carry out the dangerous task imposed on them on our behalf,” he said.
He also urged the government to encourage dialogue across and within religious communities in order to bring about a lasting reconciliation among diverse groups in the country.
The Cardinal pointed out that the insurgency in the North-East had revealed the significant presence of Christian population in the zone.
“We still have on our hands, a lot of healing and reconciliation to do before our displaced people can safely return to their homes, farms and grazing land.
“They deserve special attention in the programmes of reconstruction and rehabilitation,” he stressed.