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Treasury looters must be forced to pay back -Catholic Bishops insist

Catholic bishops in Nigeria rose from a conference, recently, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, insisting that those who looted the nation’s treasury should be compelled to pay back comprehensively.
In a communiqué issued after the meeting, the bishops also urged all to eschew political vendetta, bitterness and personal interest in the fight against corruption, calling for a true sense of justice and rule of law in the process.
The communiqué was signed by the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama and the secretary, Most Rev. William Avenya, who is also the Bishop of Gboko Diocese.
“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,” the communiqué stated.
They called on Nigerians to transcend ethnic, religious and regional affiliation and sentiments in the fight.
While commending the present administration for making the fight against corruption and insurgency central to its programme, the bishops noted that the church had consistently urged Nigerians, especially those holding public offices, to embrace the life of transparency and service.
On the state of the economy, they lauded the government’s desire to reinvest in agriculture and other non-oil sectors, regretting that unemployment had forced the youths into crime ad migration.
The communiqué also called for reduction in the cost of governance, especially on the legislature, while regretting that it was happening amid poverty in the nation.
“It also represent gross injustice against the poor,” the communiqué stated.
The bishops called for prayers and reliance on God “to make our effort towards the emergence of a new Nigeria bear the desired fruit.”
The second Plenary meeting of the CBCN which began on September 10 at the Pastoral Centre, Igwuruta, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, ended on September 18.

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