The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria on Monday cautioned the federal government and lawmakers to tread carefully on state creation and instead focus on more disturbing problems Nigeria is facing.
The Director of Communication of the Secretariat, Chris Anyanwu, a Reverend Father, stated this in an interview with NAN.
Mr. Anyanwu said that though the issue of state creation was important, there were other issues of national importance that required the attention of government. He said the reasons behind the present agitations for state creation were not in the interest of majority of Nigerians.
“For me there is nothing wrong if there is a clamour for state creation, although the problem Nigeria has is beyond creation of states,” he said.
“If it is going to bring about more voice for some people who feel marginalised, I don’t see it as problem; but it is just that it is becoming too political.
“Any issue that will bring about balance and help in making people have a sense of responsibility is always being politicised; that is the problem we are having,” he added.
State creation has been a major issue in the ongoing constitution amendment being executed by the National Assembly
Media and Peace building
The cleric also said the Catholic Church is set to organise a workshop to educate the media on peace building and conflict resolution.
He said the date and venue for the workshop would soon be made known by the secretariat.
Mr. Anyanwu said that the workshop, which would focus more on responsible journalism, would be part of the church’s contributions to help restore peace to parts of the country ravaged by conflicts.
He said that the Church acknowledges the role and responsibility of the media in peace building in the society hence its decision to organise the forum.
“The use of the media in conflict resolution; that has been a major aspect that we in the Catholic Secretariat will want to also engage government, particularly in the professionals – those in the media industry; how we can use the media more to see how we can build peace in our society; so we need to really see how to use the media so that we can achieve peace.
“What I may call peace-sensitive journalism; so, this is part of the strategy we shall contribute to the growth of our society in terms of achieving peace and security in Nigeria,” Mr. Anyanwu said.
He urged the media to be more responsive to the needs of their immediate environments by reporting objectively and responsibly to avoid breakdown of law and order. He said that the church would continue to play its role of building the morals of the citizens to enable them contribute positively towards the growth of the society.
Stiffer punishment for corruption
Mr. Anyanwu also urged the National Assembly to amend sections of the laws to impose stiffer punishments on corrupt persons, agencies and groups.
He said there was an urgent need to strengthen the mechanism of handling cases of corruption in Nigeria, noting that the anti-graft institutions as presently constituted were ineffective.
The clergyman said that the church would, on its part, continue to pray for leaders at all levels to intensify the fight against corruption and other vices.