The Catholic Church will continue to pledge her collaboration with our political leaders for the overall improvement of the lives of ordinary Nigerians, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama has stated.
The Archbishop made this remark in his good will message at Nnewi to mark the 70th birthday celebration of the Bishop of the Catholic diocese of Nnewi, Most Rev Hilary Odili Okeke
Archbishop Kaigama, who is also the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) expressed worry about the alarming crisis situations of criminal herdsmen attacking farmers in almost all the parts of the country which appears not to be attended to with the same zeal and enthusiasm with which Boko Haram is being tackled.
“We worry a lot about the crisis situations with terrible consequences in our country. One of these is the issue of criminal herdsmen attacking others, especially farmers. This is very unsettling and it seems to have no end as it continues to raise its ugly head in different parts of our country and yet not much is being seen to be done with the same zeal as in the case of Boko Haram.”
While admitting that “animal husbandry just like farming is a very important aspect of our economy especially in the face of dwindling revenue from oil”, the prelate however noted that “the rearing of cattle and other animals must not lead to constant friction, forceful occupation of land or needless deaths.”
Must cattle wander the streets, penetrate into neighborhoods, airports, markets, schools, etc? the CBCN President queried
“Certainly, there must be a better/modern way of cattle-rearing and the government knows this: It is called ranching.” He advised
Finally,Arcbishop Kaigama also used the occasion to appeal to all government officials and Legislators as well as media houses to covey the worries and sentiments of the Bishops Conference of Nigeria to the Federal Government with regard to the depilated nature of federal roads in the country.
“May I request our officials of government present here and the media to kindly convey the worries of the Catholic Bishops about this to the Federal Government and to also express our concern about most of our federal roads which are really in bad condition. We know that such roads were constructed poorly at highly exaggerated costs and generally are never maintained and have to wait long years until new inflated contracts are awarded! A journey of 640 kilometres from Jos through Makurdi, Otukpo, 9th Mile, Awka, Agulu, Nnobi to Nnewi that could easily be done in six hours took us over eleven hours! I pray and hope that the roads into the hearts of Nigerians will be better than our Nigerian roads!” he concluded.