The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria on Friday called on political leaders in Nigeria to listen to constructive criticism of the citizens in order to save Nigeria from looming collapse.
The Bishops also advised Nigerian leaders to resist the temptation of arresting and prosecuting critics of the government while all political detainees should be released because they were champions or the truth
The President of CBCN, Most Revd Augustine Akubeze, said this in a 2021 Christmas message sent to journalists by the Director of Social Communications in Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Fr. Michael Umoh, in Abuja titled, ‘Speak Lord! Your servant is listening’.
The CBCN said, “I invite you to join in praying for a Nigeria government that will listen to everyone.
“Our political office holders at all levels should act according to the mind of their constituents. To listen, you must concede that the other person has dignity and goodwill.
“No one should lead with a mindset that they have the monopoly for solving every problem. To resolve the insecurity issues in Nigeria, we must listen to each other.
“If we want to resolve agitation or request for devolution of power or sovereignty of a part of the country, we must listen to each other.
“We call on the Federal Government to release all those being held in captivity and those charged because they spoke on how to move the nation forward. One may not agree with everyone. Still, one has to fight for the right of everyone to speak, and the other should listen.”
While saying that the Christmas season was a reminder the people of God’s presence in human affairs, the Catholic prelates advised Nigerians not to allow any situation to lead them to despair because God is always with them.
“We are grateful to God for all his divine interventions in our lives. We know that if not for God, things would have been worse”, the Catholic Bishops said.