The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has condemned the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa where many non-nationals including Nigerians lost their lives and properties.
The Catholic bishops made their views known in a communique issued on Thursday at the end of the Second Plenary Meeting of the bishops held in Abeokuta.
The bishops also condemned the unfortunate reprisal attacks on perceived South African investments in some parts of Nigeria, adding that it was not the best way to handle the issue.
They commended the South African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) for being prophetic in their condemnation of the attack and urged the government to take decisive steps to end it.
“We pray for peaceful repose of those who lost their lives and sympathised with those who have suffered bereaved, injuries and heavy losses.
“We draw the attention of all nations to Deuteronomy 10:18 “He (God) defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner among you , give them food and clothing “.
“At the same time we note that South Africa and Nigeria have come a long way in fraternal and diplomatic relations. We advise Nigerians living at home and abroad to be good and law abiding,” the communique stated.
The catholic bishops also urged the Federal Government to continue to do more in the fight against insecurity.
“We reiterate that without adequate security of lives and property, there cam be no stability and enabling environment for meaningful development.
“We urge government at all levels to provide the enabling environment that will make it possible for both the government and the private sector to create job opportunities for our teeming youths.
“This will certainly minimise the menace of insecurity in our land, ” the communique stated.
The conference which brought together all Catholic bishops in Nigeria in Abeokuta also addressed the state of the nation among other issues affecting the Catholic Church and the country at large.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the communique was signed by the President and Secretary of CBCN, Most. Rev. Augustine Akubeze and Most. Rev. Camillus Umoh respectively.