Catholic Bishops denounce high earnings by Nigerian govt. officials

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The Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria has described as unjustifiable the high cost of governance in the country, resulting from exorbitant allowances for public office holders.

In a statement signed by its president and secretary, Most Revs. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama and William Avenya, respectively, the body said such earnings constituted gross injustice against the poor.

“It is regrettable that this is happening in a nation where a large percentage of the population is living in dehumanizing poverty; where so many workers are not paid the recommended basic salary, and where massive decay of infrastructure has put much stress on the citizens and their lives in great danger,” the statement said.

The conference welcomed the fight against corruption, saying it should transcend ethnic diversity and be collective.

“To guarantee sustainable success in fighting corruption, Nigerians must transcend ethnic, religious and regional affiliations and sentiments.

“We affirm that the war against corruption is not just a battle for virtue and righteousness in our land but a fight for the soul and substance of our nation,” it stated.

The conference called for an all-inclusive approach to governance.

“The elections have come and gone. It is time now for real governance and we call on our leaders to work for the common good of all our citizens.

“Those with the mandate to facilitate this process should be guided by a true sense of justice and act in accordance with the rule of law,” the statement said.

The body urged greater efforts towards the diversification of Nigeria’s economy.

Also the statement lamented the effects of waste in Nigeria’s ecosystem, calling on Nigerians to avoid environmental degradation.

“The changes we have noticed in our climate are affecting everyone. Locally, the degradation of our environment is worsened by such collective bad habits as littering everywhere with plastic sachets and bottles, loss of tropical forests, lack of proper disposal of waste and a contemporary throwaway culture,” it said.

The Bishops called on the government to continually resist attempts by foreign governments to pressure Nigeria to accept same-sex unions.

“We reiterate our unreserved condemnation of all acts of homosexuality as sinful and opposed to the natural law of creation,” the statement said.

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