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Catholic bishop raises alarm over Nigeria’s unemployment, poverty rates

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By Chidi Nkwopara

OWERRI—The Apostolic Administrator of Ahiara Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, has expressed worry that despite repeated promises of government, Nigerians remain “deeply wounded and degraded by unemployment and poverty”.

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Bishop Ugorji raised the alarm yesterday at St. Brigid’s Parish, Nnarambia, Ahiara Mbaise, while preaching the homily during a Pontifical mass to flag off the Second Plenary Meeting of the Diocesan and Religious Directors of Social Communication in Nigeria.

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“Indeed, many of our people are deeply wounded and degraded by unemployment and poverty, a poverty that generates other social problems. This includes but not limited to violent and cyber crimes, ethnic and religious strife, terrorism and kidnapping, baby factories and human trafficking that trap many girls in sex slavery”, the Apostolic Administrator said.

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While reminding the nation’s leaders that poverty leads to low esteem, frustration and despondency, which seek relief in drugs, Bishop Ugorji also fumed that many of the Nigerian elite “see their involvement in politics as an opportunity for manipulating oil wealth and obscenely amassing ill-gotten gains at the expense of the masses”.

Quoting the 2010 World Bank Report, Ugorji said that 80 per cent of the revenues accruing from the nation’s oil wealth, benefit only one percent of the population as a result of corruption.

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He reminded the Communication Directors that in the digitalized world of this day and age, “the protagonists and sponsors of modern secularist ideologies, use the powerful opinion-shaping instruments of the mass media, to spread pervasive culture.”

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