By Chidi Nkwopara
The growing mindless massacres of innocent Nigerians by unscrupulous terrorists have been described as traumatic.
The Catholic Archbishop-Elect of Owerri Archdiocese and President of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, made his feelings known in his 2022 Easter message.
Part of the message read: “As a nation, we are celebrating Easter this year in a rather dismal atmosphere that breeds pessimism and despair. The growing insecurity of life and property in the country is compounded by the rising wave of mindless massacres of innocent citizens by unscrupulous terrorists, causing bereavement, trauma and uncertainty.
“Economic hardship with soaring inflation continues to sweep across the nation like wildfire and seems to reduce millions of our country’s men and women to a life of wanton suffering and distress.
“The ongoing strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, is thwarting the academic ambitions of many Nigerian students. In some parts of the country, workers are owed arrears of salaries, while retired senior citizens eke out existence without regular pensions.
“Many young people are deeply wounded and degraded by unemployment and poverty, a poverty that breeds crime and seeks relief in hard drugs. The appalling economic condition is worsened by the present scarcity of fuel, which is as puzzling as it is frustrating.
“This horrible state of affairs is driving many compatriots to a feeling of cynicism as they gaze at a gloomy future that seems to promise them little or nothing.”
Taking a critical look at the forthcoming 2023 general elections, Archbishop Ugorji said: “As we draw closer to another period of general elections, which are often characterized by bloody conflicts, we urge everyone seeking electoral office to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship and not to see a political contest as a do-or-die affair.
“We also implore one and all to make a personal commitment to non-violence. This is because violence only breeds violence. The vicious cycle of violence results in utter destruction and is never a solution to any human problem.
“Accordingly, far from fighting and killing one another as a way of settling differences, we should hearken to those beautiful words of Isaiah: Beat your sword into plough shares (Isaiah 2:4). No more bitterness! No more killing!”