By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
The National President of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, has decried the appointment methods of President Muhammadu Buhari as a simplistic approach towards who becomes Ministers, Ambassadors and Board members.
The cleric made this known during the opening ceremony of the second plenary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The conference, which had in attendance bishops from all the 36 states of Nigeria in Abeokuta addressed the state of the nation among other issues affecting the Catholic Church, christianity, religious body and the country at large.
While lamenting the state of the country’s security, Dr Akubeze complained about the spate of killings by the Fulani herdsmen, adding that any government which could not protect the constitutional right of its citizen has failed
He said: “Every part of Nigeria does have competent people who are patriots and deserve to serve in very important federal positions.
“The lack of diversity by this government in the federal level should be reviewed with the aim of assuring every Nigerian that appointment to positions of importance is not based on the number of people who voted for you from those areas.
“The President is the president of every Nigerian and he has the same obligation to those who voted for him as well as those who did not vote for him. He uses the taxes of people who voted for him and those who did not vote for him.
“We have heard the government say that they have fulfilled the constitutional requirements of appointments, At least a minister from each state. This is a minimalistic approach that does not fulfill the spirit of total integration of every Nigerian.
“All federal agencies should have directors and staff that reflect the diversity in our land, no federal agency should be dominated by one ethnic group or one religious group.”
While speaking on the insecurity in the country, the cleric vehemently stated that, “We have urged the government to stop celebrating the few instances of what they call success by stating that the terrorists have been technically defeated.
“Nigerians do not want to have a debate on the meaning of the word ‘defeated’ we are just interested in living our lives peacefully without any fear of being kidnapped for ransom or being driven from our homeland.
“We just want to live and care for our families, we want to be able to move freely in the country. Every government that fails to protect the constitutional right of her citizens has failed.
“If the leaders of a country cannot ensure peace and security they have no business using tax payers money to provide security for themselves and their families while the rest Nigerians are dying daily.”
However, the Chairperson of the conference, Prof. Catherine Eromosele, lamented the continuous hostage of Leah Sharibu among other kidnapped victims who have spent over 1980 days in the custody of the Boko Haram, calling on the Bishops to keep the matter alive.
She also appealed to the catholic clerics to urge the federal government to do all that is possible to ensure their release without further delay.
Dignitaries present at the event included Governors Dapo Abiodun, Kayode Fayemi and Solomon Lanlong. There were also Deputy Governor of Osun, Olugboyega Alabi, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Women Affairs, Paulin Tallen, former governorship candidate Lagos State PDP, Jimi Agbaje, Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, Olu and Paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle, among other top Catholic Church Bishops in Nigeria.