As Nigeria prepares for the 2019 general elections, the Catholic Bishop of Oyo, Most Revd Emmanuel Badejo, has said the country is in serious trouble owing to the perceived failures of the Federal Government on key social, political, economic and religious fronts.
He said this on Tuesday in a statement titled: ‘Catholic men and social transformation: challenge with great prospects’, which was made available to journalists in Abuja by the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN).
Badejo, who stated that the country has been hijacked by terrorists masquerading as politicians under the current administration, expressed worries that the few viable options to President Muhammadu Buhari in the coming elections, as presented by leading opposition political parties, were uninspiring and unlikely to win.
He further raised concerns that rigging and manipulation of the 2019 elections in favour of the party controlling the government might be perpetrated even with the collusion of security agencies.
Bishop Badejo said: “The Nigeria we live in today is one of the most endowed in the whole world, but it is really a country in serious trouble. On practically every conceivable social index, political, economic and even religious, our country is underperforming or altogether doing badly.
“It has practically been hijacked by terrorists and kidnappers who don the garb of politicians and rape and violate the citizens by every means including using the constitution to legitimise their crimes. That section of the political class increasingly grows in impunity and hand-wriggling arrogance while communal, tribal and religious clashes continue to claim hundreds of lives.
“Provision of basic infrastructure for which Nigerians have clamoured over many decades has become a huge and permanent siphoning pipe for stealing mind-boggling sums of money only surpassed by periodic elections which the hapless populace dare not reject and the fight against insurgency, an albatross that cannot but be cast off.
“As we sit here, only months away from general elections, many cannot see the end of the tunnel talk less of seeing any light there. Test gubernatorial elections and party primaries of the last few months give no reason for joy, having sounded a note of warning on the blatant rigging and manipulation that might be perpetrated, even with the collusion of the security agencies.
“As things stand, the possibility of change from the incumbent Federal Government which many Nigerians hope for seems very slim because the few viable options seem uninspiring. In short, it seems that all proposed cure may be worse than the disease.”
He said under the present circumstances the Church had a role to play and a task to carry out as part of the conscience of the nation.
“We need lay people, men who can translate the prose of the pulpit and the galvanizing power of the gospel into tangible benefits in the socio-political realm. Honestly, I think that it is impossible to transform society without engaging with it in such a coordinated and deliberate way,” he said.