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The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria has said that contrary to the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari to belong to everybody while being sworn in as the President in 2015, he has failed to demonstrate the statement in governance in the last two years.
Buhari, a former military general, had on May 29, 2015, while being inaugurated as civilian president after defeating Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party promised to carry all sections of the country along in his administration by saying “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”.
But rising from a meeting in Taraba State on Friday, the CBCN in a communiqué signed by its president, Ignatius Kaigama, said Buhari had failed to live up to those words two years after assuming office.
According to the organisation, the inability of the Federal Government under the former military Head of State to address grievances among different sections of the country has led to rising tension in the land.
The communiqué said, “In his inaugural speech as civilian president of Nigeria on May 29, 2015, the President sent out a message of hope and of his commitment to national integration and cohesion.
“He said: ‘Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians. I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody. A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office, I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores.’
“More than two years later, the reality on ground and the verdict of most of our people across the nation – irrespective of religious affiliation, ethnic group or social status – point to the contrary. The inability of the government to address the inequitable situation in the country has provided breeding ground for violent reactions, protests and agitations, which exploit the grievances of different segments of the country.
“We call on government at all levels to urgently address these anomalies, remove everything that smacks of injustice, and give everybody and every part of our country a sense of belonging.”
Speaking further, the bishops frowned at the deployment of military personnel in the Southeastern part of the country, describing it as capable of “igniting a fire that could turn into an uncontrollable conflagration”.
While calling on aggrieved citizens and groups to maintain law and order, the CBCN said that the government must live up to its responsibilities to the citizens in order for development to occur in the country.
The group, however, commended the Federal Government for the successes recorded in the fight against terrorism in the North-East and the release of some of the abducted schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno State.