Mimiko, Mbang canvass support for true federalism
• Ex-Prelate seeks action on 2014 confab report
• Urges dialogue to end Niger Delta crisis.
Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko has appealed to Catholic bishops to join the call for Nigeria’s restructuring so as to reflect the needed true federalism, saying it is the only panacea for the growth and development of the country.
Mimiko, who stated this yesterday at the second plenary session of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) 2016 at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Church, Akure, said government had a responsibility to curtail religious bigotry in the country and urged religious leaders to continue to pray for the nation.
He noted that the problem of corruption facing Nigeria could be addressed with the right policy in place, affirming that inter-religious conflicts would only lead the country into more dangers that might be difficult to overcome.
“Government has responsibility of bringing these bigots to book. We are not comfortable with what the bigots are doing. What they are doing is most worrisome in Nigeria. Church has major role to play by praying for Nigeria,” the governor said.
Mimiko, who charged churches to always stand up when they see abuse of the secularity in Nigeria, commended the Catholic Bishops in Nigeria for what they have been standing for in Nigeria.
The president of CBCN, Most Rev Ignatius Kaigama, has lauded the co-operation between the church and Ondo State government.
Kaigama stressed that the Mimiko-led administration has brought smiles to the faces of the people through the provision of good roads, infrastructural development, quality healthcare and urban renewal, among others.
He, however, said that a lot should be done by the Federal Government to alleviate the current economic hardship on the masses and that the country should not be ruled with sentiments.
Kaigama, who advocated an all-inclusive governance in a bid to fast-track national development, said various issues confronting Nigeria had been raised with President Muhammadu Buhari when the bishops visited him last May with assurances that he would act soon.
Also, the Prelate Emeritus of Methodist Church Nigeria (MCN), His Eminence, Dr. Sunday Mbang, has expressed displeasure at the decision by the Federal Government to jettison 2014 National Conference report, saying some of the recommendations hold the solution to the country’s contemporary problems, including righting the foundational lapses of Nigeria’s nationhood.
“I was not happy when President Buhari says the report of the National Conference set up by the immediate past government should not be looked into. Read it, look at it, those you don’t like, tell everybody you don’t like this. But for you to come and say I won’t look at it, I don’t think this is a way forward for the nation.
Definitely, this country needs some kind of restructuring,” he stated.
Addressing reporters at the weekend during an occasion to mark his 80th birthday in Eket, Akwa Ibom State, the former outspoken national chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) condemned the militarisation of the Niger Delta, noting that the move was counter-productive.
Mbang rather submitted that dialogue was much potent than military might in the present circumstance.
“The truth is that you cannot use force to settle issues. To make sense, I would prefer dialogue. Have they fully explored dialogue to warrant use of military? he queried.