The Roman Catholic denomination would continue to speak and air its views against corruption and bad governance in Nigeria, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Grace Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, said on Sunday.
According to him, the Church and the state, although distinct, put themselves at the service of humanity.
Kaigama stated these in a pastoral message presented him at the end of the third General Assembly of the Archdiocese in Abuja.
He, therefore, stressed that the common ground should be an avenue for cooperation and co-responsibility.
The cleric said, “In the truest sense, religion should be the gadfly of public consciousness and morality in political life. A Church that will not speak truth to power is a Church that cannot credibly bear witness to Christ in the world. We cannot offer hope if we do not speak the truth.
“The Church and politics are not isolated from each other; nonetheless, the two cannot be subsumed into one entity. It is hoped that the Church can inject correct moral values deep into the political fibres of the nation.”
The cleric said that violent disturbances were not the way to move the country forward.
According to him, despite the many failures of good governance, the Catholic church still nurtures and sustains the hope of a democracy that will usher a renewed era of social justice, equity, peace and prosperity.
The cleric said, “We are highly disturbed by the state of national insecurity, banditry, terrorism, the kidnap for ransom saga, and economic hardship, resulting in the unbearably high level of unemployment in the country
“Human life often becomes cheapened in the tussle for political power. This is not unconnected with bad governance and its negative consequences.
“The church, as ever before, continues to speak out firmly against political corruption, eroding social values and bad governance.”
Nonetheless, he said the year 2023 stands as another litmus test for the gains of democracy in Nigeria.
“Electoral activities in Nigeria have often been marred by a contest of powerful interests and unhealthy partisan rivalry more than the desire to serve the public good.
“For too long, politicians are perceived as non-promise keepers by the larger society; it is time to vote into power a new crop of leaders who are seriously concerned with the state of the nation and the sufferings of our people, sworn to serve public needs rather than to be served.
“In the exercise of voting power, we all have the responsibility to be discerning in the choice of those who seek to be voted into public service.
“We task the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure political fairness and transparency to consolidate the trust reposed on them by Nigerians.”