The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, on Sunday advocated the promotion of social justice for ethnic minorities for peace, unity and development to reign in the country.
The bishops also described as “shameful” calls for Nigeria’s break up.
Its president, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama made the call while declaring open the second plenary meeting of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria for 2017 holding at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Cathedral in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital.
Mr. Kaigama, who is also the Archbishop of Jos, said that lack of social justice for all in the country was responsible for all the agitations for break-up from its different regions.
He, however, described the calls and hate speeches as shameful, saying there were better options on how to address the nation’s challenges.
“There are shameful calls for the break-up of the country and so much hate speeches going on.
“This is not the way out, the way out is to correct the level of injustice that has been done to minority ethnic nationalities in the country,” he said.
Mr. Kaigama commended Charles Hamawa, a bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Jalingo for the transformation that had taken place in the diocese within a very short time.
He called on the Taraba State Government to include the church in the conceptualisation and implementation of its policies and programmes for them to be effectively felt by the citizens of the state.
Earlier, the host Bishop, Mr. Hamawa, had expressed his appreciation to the lay faithful if the diocese and others in the state for ensuring the success of the conference.
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba noted that the meeting of the religious leaders in the state at this point was a sign of blessing to the state.
Ishaku called on the bishops to pray for peace and development of the state during their one-week conference in the state.
NAN reports that about 55 Catholic bishops from across the country, the APC national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, former governor of Taraba, Jolly Nyame, as well as several church and state dignitaries attended the Mass and the opening ceremonies.
The conference will end on September 15 when the conference is expected to issue a communiqué on matters affecting the church and the country.