Stop persecution of govt critics, Catholic bishops tell politicians

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The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, on Friday, called on political leaders in the country to listen to constructive criticisms from the citizens in order to save the nation from a looming collapse.

The bishops also advised Nigerian leaders to resist the temptation of arresting and prosecuting critics of the government, while all political detainees should be released for championing the truth.

The President of the CBCN, Most Revd Augustine Akubeze, said this in a Christmas message sent to journalists by the Director of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev Fr Michael Umoh, in Abuja titled, ‘Speak Lord! Your servant is listening’.

Akubeze said, “I invite you to join in praying for a Nigeria government that will listen to everyone.

“Our political office holders at all levels should act according to the mind of their constituents. To listen, you must concede that the other person has dignity and goodwill.

“No one should lead with a mindset that they have the monopoly for solving every problem. To resolve the insecurity issues in Nigeria, we must listen to each other.

“If we want to resolve agitation or request for devolution of power or sovereignty of a part of the country, we must listen to each other.

“We call on the Federal Government to release all those being held in captivity and those charged, because they spoke on how to move the nation forward. One may not agree with everyone. Still, one has to fight for the right of everyone to speak, and the other should listen.”

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