Participants at the Reunion of Episcopal Conference of West Africa, 4th General Assembly -Nigeria 2022.
By Bridget Ikyado
President Muhammadu Buahari on Tuesday said there would not be peace in Africa if it did not first exist in the families and countries.
Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said this at the Reunion of Episcopal Conference of West Africa, 4th General Assembly -Nigeria 2022.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the conference is “Fratelli Tutti: Path to Build Brotherhood and Sustainable Peace in West Africa”.
According to him, fraternity and social friendship are the ways to build a better, more just and peaceful world with the commitment of all people and institutions.
Buhari said the Catholic Church and the Bishops conference had established a reputation for speaking truth to power in consonance with the highest prophetic traditions.
He added that over the years, the Church has modeled profound approaches in challenging the impunity of some state actors and errant power.
Buhari said that the conference would help to supply a moral and spiritual consensus that undergirded the project of integration.
He also expressed hope that the Bishops would conceptualise ways of bringing the full weight of the immense moral authority they possessed upon their nations and in the sub-region as a whole.
In his address, the Metropolitan Arch Bishop and President RECOWA Kaigama, expressed hope that the results of the reflections, the workshops and discussions would have a great impact on the region and its people.
“Without becoming politically partisan, our prophetic voices must continue to ring out on behalf of the voiceless multitude suffering.
“We do not pretend that we have the solutions to the multidimensional political, security and social problems.
“The Church can only continue to play her role in educating the consciences of Christians, non-christians and people of goodwill in our society.”
Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, called for a rapid response on global issue threatening humanity.
Ugorji said global problems demanded global response and action in the spirit of co-responsibility, cooperation and collaboration.
He said the myriads of problems bedevilling our countries included poor governance, human rights abuse, poverty, unemployment, ethnocentrism, terrorism and organised crimes.
He said in the face of these, Africa should guard against the “culture of walls” or “culture of indiference”.
“These socio-political and socio-cultural problems threaten peace and impede development in our different countries.
“As the Holy Father observes, fraternity and social friendship are the ways to build a better, more just and peaceful world, with the contribution of all people in the human family. “
Mr.Damian Dodo, Chairman of the occasion, called for the need to fight against issues like terrorism, pandemics, hunger and others affecting the west African region.
Dodo said that the theme for the conference was apt as it called for unity because all human beings were made in God’s image and that no man is an island as they all need one another.
Most Rev Antonio Filipazzi, Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria and the ECOWAS Commission President, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, felicitated with the congregation.
Also, the Federal Executive Council, SGF Boss Mustapha and some governors were present at the event. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng) BTT/IA