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CBCN COMMUNIQUÉ: CATHOLIC POLITICIANS, BUSINESS LEADERS IN NIGERIA VOICE SUPPORT, PROMISE TO ENSURE FULL IMPLEMENTATION
2021, Sep 21

By Josef Ishu

The Catholic politicians and business leaders in Nigeria on Friday, September 17, 2021 threw their weight behind the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) over the worrisome state of the nation, Nigeria.

The CBCN, in its just concluded second plenary meeting held in Enugu Diocese, Enugu State, expressed concern over increasing insecurity and violence in Nigeria noting that deaths in the hands of kidnappers, killer herdsmen, bandits, terrorist groups have made Nigeria one of the most terrorized countries in the world.

Arising from their first executive meeting held in Benin-City, Edo State, the Catholic politicians and business leaders under the auspices of Catholic Politicians and Captains of Industry Forum said they have deliberated on the CBCN Communiqué and agreed with the Church leaders on issues raised in the document and therefore believed that it is their duty to educate themselves, other people, and the business community, that it is their responsibility to ensure the fully implementation of concerns raised by the Bishops.

The members of the Forum therefore resolved to commit themselves to building networks and galvanizing resources to generate the thinking to address those issues and ensure their implementation through the coalition of Catholic politicians and business leaders.

In a Communique issued at the end of its meeting the Forum stated, “We believe that business and politics exist to create values that elevate society and advance human progress.  Politics organises the society to achieve progress while business transforms material opportunities to create value and wealth to cater for the needs of citizens.”

The Communiqué signed by the Chairman of the Forum, Prof Pat Utomi, the 1st Vice Chairman – Political and the deputy governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon. Comrade. Philip Shaibu and other notable Nigerians said, “the pursuit of the common good also implies that we focus on getting people – Catholic and non-Catholic – to learn from the wisdom contained in the social doctrines of the Catholic Church which throws light on human social interactions which became pronounced with Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, published in the aftermath of the Second Industrial Revolution.”

The meeting was attended by leaders of the Knights and Ladies of St Mulumba, Knights and Ladies of St John International, Catholic Women Organisation, Catholic Youths Organisation of Nigeria, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement and Catholic Action Nigeria.  

Below is the full Communiqué:

 

COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF 1ST EXECUTIVE MEETING OF THE CATHOLIC POLITICIANS AND CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY FORUM HELD ON FRIDAY, 17TH OF SEPTEMBER 2021, AT THE ARCHBISHOP’S CHANCERY OFFICE, BENIN, EDO STATE.

Preamble

We express our gratitude to the conveners of the CPCIF especially the host of the meeting, His Excellency, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu, the deputy governor of Edo state and several eminent political leaders who were able to attend.  We also thank the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), His Grace, Most Rev Dr Augustin Akubueze, the Archbishop of Benin for providing the facilities for the meeting and most importantly, His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan (CON) for his continuous support and commitment.

Our Position

We deliberated on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) communiqué from Enugu which expressed hope in a better Nigeria which though, presently challenged across several fronts still reserves the tenets for national unity, justice, peace, and development.  We agree with these conclusions and believe that it is our duty to educate ourselves, other people, and the business community, that it is our responsibility to ensure that these are fully implemented.

We met with the Catholic grassroot organizations including the Knights and Ladies of St Mulumba, Knights and Ladies of St John International, Catholic Women Organisation, Catholic Youths Organisation of Nigeria, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement and Catholic Action Nigeria.   The following issues were raised:

• The rising spate of insecurity in the country.

• The urgency of electoral reform.

• The urgency of fiscal subsidiarity and federalism.

• The challenge of youth unemployment and the need for massive job creation.

We have committed ourselves to building networks and galvanizing resources to generate the thinking to address these issues and ensure their implementation through the coalition of Catholic politicians and business leaders.

We believe that business and politics exist to create values that elevate society and advance human progress.  Politics organises the society to achieve progress while business transforms material opportunities to create value and wealth to cater for the needs of citizens.

The pursuit of the common good also implies that we focus on getting people – Catholic and non-Catholic – to learn from the wisdom contained in the social doctrines of the Catholic church which throws light on human social interactions which became pronounced with Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, published in the aftermath of the Second Industrial Revolution.   Now that we are in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), there are peculiarities of the information age that politics and businesses need to pay particular attention to, that this body will help to facilitate and promote entrepreneurs that will address the social needs of this radically challenging times.

Conclusion

In closing, Nigeria faces many challenges, but we are optimistically committed to the common good of all recognizing that ethical values drive human progress.  As politicians and business leaders, we are hopeful that we possess the abilities to engineer ways and means to help leapfrog the society out of these problems. Our commitment is to actions and not words, and we want to see the impacts of these commitments in political and economic issues to arrest our country’s drift into anarchy and chaos.

Signed:

Prof Pat Utomi, Chairman

His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Comrade. Philip Shaibu, (1st Vice Chairman – Political)

His Excellency, Dr. Benedict Olugboyega Alabi, (Coordinator, SW-Political)

His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu, (Coordinator, SE – Political)

Senator (Prof) Dame Nora Daduut, Coordinator, Parliamentary Action Network (PAN)

Dr Bongo Adi, (Coordinator, Policy and Research)

Sir Peter Ikponmwosa Agbontaen, (Convener CPCIF)

Hon Dominic Ezerioha, (Deputy Spokesperson)


 


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